Tapeworm infection is led to by ingesting food or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. If you ingest details tapeworm eggs, they deserve to migrate outside your intestines and form larval cysts in body tissues and also organs (invasive infection). If friend ingest tapeworm larvae, however, they build into adult tapeworms in your intestines (intestinal infection).

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An adult tapeworm consists of a head, neck and chain that segments dubbed proglottids. When you have actually an intestinal tapeworm infection, the tapeworm head adheres to the intestinal wall, and the proglottids grow and also produce eggs. Adult tapeworms deserve to live for up to 30 year in a host.

Intestinal tapeworm infections space usually mild, with just one or two adult tapeworms. However invasive larval infections can cause serious complications.


Many human being with minister tapeworm infection don"t have symptoms. If you perform have problems from the infection, her symptoms will count on the kind of tapeworm girlfriend have and its location. Invasive tapeworm infection symptoms vary relying on where the larvae have actually migrated.

Intestinal infection

Signs and symptoms the intestinal epidemic include:

NauseaWeaknessLoss that appetiteAbdominal painDiarrheaDizzinessSalt cravingWeight loss and also inadequate absorb of nutrients from food

Invasive infection

If tapeworm larvae have actually migrated the end of her intestines and formed cysts in various other tissues, they have the right to eventually cause organ and tissue damage, resulting in:

HeadachesCystic masses or lumpsAllergic reactions to the larvaeNeurological signs and symptoms, including seizures

When to view a doctor

If girlfriend experience any kind of of the indicators or symptom of tapeworm infection, seek medical attention.

Request an meeting at mei Clinic


A tapeworm infection starts after ~ ingestion that tapeworm eggs or larvae.

Ingestion the eggs.. If friend eat food or drink water contaminated with feces indigenous a human being or pet with tapeworm, you ingest microscope tapeworm eggs. For example, a dog infected with a tapeworm will pass tapeworm eggs in that feces, which gain into the soil.

If this exact same soil come in call with a food or water source, it becomes contaminated. You have the right to then it is in infected when you eat or drink something native the contaminated source.

Once inside your intestines, the eggs construct into larvae. In ~ this stage, the larvae become mobile. If they migrate out of your intestines, they kind a cyst in the liver or various other tissues.

Ingestion that larvae cysts in meat or muscle tissue. as soon as an animal has a tapeworm infection, it has tapeworm larvae in the muscle tissue. If friend eat raw or undercooked meat indigenous an infected animal, you ingest the larvae, which then develop into adult tapeworms in your intestines.

Adult tapeworms deserve to measure more than 80 feet (25 meters) long and also can survive as long as 30 years in a host. Part tapeworms connect themselves to the wall surfaces of the intestines, whereby they cause irritation or gentle inflammation, if others might pass with to your stool and exit your body.

Risk factors

Factors that may put you at better risk of tapeworm infection include:

Poor hygiene. Infrequent washing and bathing rises the hazard of accidental deliver of contaminated issue to your mouth.Exposure to livestock. This is especially problematic in areas where human and animal feces room not disposed the properly.Traveling to developing countries. epidemic occurs more frequently in areas with bad sanitation practices.Eating raw or undercooked meats. Improper cooking may fail to kill tapeworm eggs and larvae had in contaminated pork or beef.Living in endemic areas. In certain parts the the world, exposure to tapeworm egg is more likely. Because that instance, your danger of coming into contact with eggs of the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) is better in areas of Latin America, China, sub-Saharan Africa or south-east Asia where free-range pigs might be more common.


Intestinal tapeworm infections normally don"t cause complications. If complications perform occur, they might include:

Digestive blockage. If tapeworms grow large enough, they have the right to block your appendix, resulting in infection (appendicitis); her bile ducts, which lug bile from your liver and also gallbladder to your intestine; or your pancreatic duct, which carries digestive fluids from your pancreas to your intestine.Brain and central nervous mechanism impairment. called neurocysticercosis (noor-o-sis-tih-sur-KOE-sis), this particularly dangerous complication that invasive pork tapeworm epidemic can an outcome in headaches and visual impairment, and seizures, meningitis, hydrocephalus or dementia. Death can take place in severe instances of infection.

Organ function disruption. as soon as larvae move to the liver, lungs or various other organs, they end up being cysts. Over time, these cysts grow, sometimes large enough to crowd the functioning components of the organ or reduce its blood supply. Tapeworm cysts sometimes rupture, releasing an ext larvae, which have the right to move to various other organs and form additional cysts.

A ruptured or leaking cyst can cause an allergy-like reaction, through itching, hives, swelling and challenge breathing. Surgery or body organ transplantation might be essential in significant cases.

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To protect against tapeworm infection:

Wash her hands v soap and water prior to eating or handling food and also after using the toilet. Once traveling in locations where tapeworm is more common, wash and cook all fruits and vegetables v safe water before eating. If water could not be safe, be certain to boil it because that at the very least a minute and then let it cool off prior to using it. Remove livestock exposure come tapeworm egg by properly disposing of animal and also human feces. Thoroughly chef meat at temperatures of at the very least 145 F (63 C) to kill tapeworm egg or larvae. Freeze meat for as lengthy as seven to 10 days and fish for at least 24 hours in a freezer through a temperature the -31 F (-35 C) to kill tapeworm eggs and larvae. Stop eating life or undercooked pork, beef and fish. Timeless treat dog infected through tapeworm.

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