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Human Tape Worm

Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm Taenia Saginata (Beef Tapeworm) Infection Infection with the beef tapeworm, Taenia saginata, may cause mild gastrointestinal upset or passage of a motile segment in the stool. It is treated with praziquantel or niclosamide. Cattle... read more )

Human Tape Worm

Taenia solium (pork tapeworm Taenia Solium (Pork Tapeworm) Infection and Cysticercosis Taenia solium infection (taeniasis) is an intestinal infection with adult tapeworms that follows ingestion of contaminated pork. Adult worms may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms or passage... read more )

Hymenolepis nana (dwarf tapeworm Hymenolepis nana (Dwarf Tapeworm) Infection Hymenolepis nana, a tiny intestinal tapeworm, is one of the most common human cestodes; the life cycle does not require an intermediate host. Infection is treated with praziquantel or... read more )

Diphyllobothrium latum (fish tapeworm Diphyllobothriasis (Fish Tapeworm Infection) Diphyllobothriasis is infection with intestinal tapeworms of the family Diphyllobothriidae. They are acquired by eating raw or undercooked freshwater fish. Treatment is with praziquantel or... read more )

Other cestode species also infect humans, causing diseases such as sparganosis Sparganosis Sparganosis is infection with larvae of Spirometra species or Sparganum proliferum tapeworms. Adult Spirometra species and Sparganum proliferum tapeworms infect... read more , coenurosis Coenurosis (Taenia multiceps, Taenia serialis, or Taenia brauni Infection) The tapeworms Taenia multiceps, Taenia serialis, Taenia brauni, and Taenia glomeratus are rare causes of human infection, which is acquired by accidental ingestion... read more , and echinococcosis Echinococcosis Echinococcosis is infection with larvae of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus (cystic echinococcosis, hydatid disease) or Echinococcus multilocularis (alveolar disease). Symptoms... read more . Cestode infection is typically foodborne or acquired by accidental ingestion of invertebrate hosts.

Cestode infection spreads when eggs laid by adult tapeworms in the intestines of definitive hosts are excreted with feces into the environment and ingested by an intermediate host (typically another species). Eggs hatch into larvae, which develop, enter the circulation of the intermediate host, and encyst in the musculature or other organs. When the intermediate host is eaten raw or undercooked by the definitive host, the parasites are released from the ingested cysts in the intestines and develop into adult tapeworms, restarting the cycle. With some cestode species (eg, T. solium), the definitive host can also serve as an intermediate host; that is, if eggs rather than tissue cysts are ingested, the eggs develop into larvae, which enter the circulation and encyst in various tissues.

Adult tapeworms are so well-adapted to their host's gastrointestinal tract that they usually cause minimal symptoms. There are some exceptions. Heavy infections with Hymenolepis nana can cause abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and weight loss; members of the family Diphyllobothriidae can cause vitamin B12 deficiency Vitamin B12 Deficiency Dietary vitamin B12 deficiency usually results from inadequate absorption, but deficiency can develop in vegans who do not take vitamin supplements. Deficiency causes megaloblastic anemia, damage... read more and megaloblastic anemia Megaloblastic Macrocytic Anemias Megaloblastic anemias result most often from deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folate. Ineffective hematopoiesis affects all cell lines but particularly red blood cells. Diagnosis is usually based... read more .

In contrast to adult tapeworms, larvae can cause severe and even lethal disease when they develop in extraintestinal sites, most importantly in the brain, but also in the liver, lungs, eyes, muscles, and subcutaneous tissues. In humans, T. solium causes cysticercosis and Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus multilocularis cause cystic hydatid disease and alveolar disease, respectively. T. saginata does not cause cysticercosis in humans. It is not clear if T. asiatica causes cysticercosis in humans or not. Rarely, larvae of Spirometra species, Sparganum proliferum, Taenia multiceps, Taenia serialis, Taenia brauni, and Taenia glomeratus can also infect humans, producing mass lesions in subcutaneous tissue or muscle, and less commonly, brain or eye depending on the infecting species.

Adult tapeworm infections are diagnosed by identifying eggs or gravid proglottid segments in stool. Larval disease is best identified by imaging (eg, brain CT and/or MRI). Serologic tests may also be helpful.

The anthelmintic drug praziquantel is effective for intestinal tapeworm infections. Niclosamide is an alternative that is not available in the US. Nitazoxanide can be used for H. nana infections.

Tapeworms are flat, segmented intestinal parasites of the cat and dog. Tapeworms belong to the cestode family of intestinal worms. There are several types of tapeworms, but the most common tapeworm species observed in dogs is Dipylidium caninum.

Occasionally they can be seen moving on the hairs around the anus, or more commonly, on the surface of freshly passed feces. As the proglottid dries, it becomes a golden color and eventually breaks open, releasing the fertilized eggs into the environment. A proglottid may contain as many as 20 tapeworm eggs.

Tapeworms do not normally cause serious health problems in adult dogs. Occasionally dogs will drag their bottoms on the ground, a behavior known as scooting, in order to calm irritation associated with the proglottids. Note that scooting can also occur for other reasons such as impacted anal sacs. It is important to have your dog examined by your veterinarian if scooting is noted.

With today's deworming medications, treatment is simple and effective. The parasiticide may be given either in the form of tablets or by injection. It causes the parasite to be digested in the intestines so you normally will not see tapeworms passed in the stool. These drugs are very safe and should not cause any side effects.

If your dog lives in a flea-infested environment, reinfection with tapeworms may occur in as little as two weeks. Since tapeworm medication is so effective, recurrent tapeworm infections are almost always due to reinfection from fleas and not failure of the deworming product.

You cannot get Dipylidium caninum tapeworms directly from your dog, as it depends on the flea as the intermediate host. A person must swallow an infected flea to become infected with this type of tapeworm. A few cases of tapeworm infection have been reported in children. Vigorous flea control will also eliminate any risk of children becoming infected.

Taenia species - These are tapeworms that are acquired by eating prey or waste containing the infective larval stage. These are much larger tapeworms, often up to one yard (one meter) in length. Intermediate hosts include rodents, rabbits, hares, and sheep. Hydatid cysts develop in various organs in the intermediate host. There are effective medications that will eliminate Taenia infections in dogs. If your dog eats prey such as rodents or rabbits, reinfection can occur with passage of tapeworm segments in 6-8 weeks. If your dog is a hunter, regular deworming may be needed.

Echinococcus species - These are very small tapeworms, consisting of only three or four segments, and are usually less than 3/8" (1 cm) in length. Intermediate hosts can be sheep, horses, and occasionally humans. In humans the disease is called hydatidosis, hydatid disease, or hydatid cyst disease, and results in cysts being formed in the liver. The disease is very rare in the United States, but has been reported in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

Humans are infected by eating contaminated meat or by accidentally ingesting eggs that have originated from the feces of dogs, coyotes, or foxes harboring the adult tapeworm. Humans may not show clinical signs until years after ingestion. Fortunately, deworming preparations, particularly those containing praziquantel, are effective for eliminating this cestode from infected dogs. It is important to wash your hands after playing with your pet, or being in areas where they or other animals may have defecated.

  • processing.... Drugs & Diseases > Emergency Medicine Tapeworm Infestation Updated: Apr 15, 2021 Author: Lisandro Irizarry, MD, MBA, MPH, FACEP; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD more...

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  • Pathophysiology Epidemiology Show All Presentation History

  • Physical Causes Show All DDx Workup Laboratory Studies

  • Imaging Studies Other Tests Procedures Show All Treatment Emergency Department Care

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  • Anthelmintics Anticonvulsants Glucocorticoids Vitamins Show All Follow-up Complications

Prognosis Patient Education Show All Questions & Answers Media Gallery Tables References Overview Background Tapeworms are long, segmented worms of the class Cestoda, which comprise 1 of 3 classes of parasitic worms (worms that require a host within which to mature). The other classes are Nematoda and Trematoda. These worms lack an intestinal tract and instead can absorb nutrients through their integument. 041b061a72


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