- Adult form: Taeniasis
- Larval form: Cysticercosis
- Principal intermediate hosts:
- Taenia solium (pork tapeworm)
- Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm)
- Man is the only definitive host for both
Food or drinking water contaminated by tapeworm eggs from human feces
- Untreated water
- Uncooked meat
- Uncooked vegetables
TaeniasisMost infections with adult worms (Taeniasis) are asymptomatic
- If symptomatic (severe infections), nonspecific complaints:
- Pain in abdomen
CysticercosisCarriers have an increased risk of developing cysticercosis by repeated autoinfection.
- Common target organs:
- Subcutaneous tissue
- Clinical manifestations depend on the location, number and size of cysts in the brain and host inflammatory response.
- Viable cysts generally do not elicit a strong response
- On the other hand, degenerating cysts provoke a vigorous host response.
NeurocysticercosisM/C parasitic infection of the CNS
- Partial or generalized seizure (20-50% cases of all seizures)
- ↑ Intracranial tension
- Focal neurological deficits
- Disturbed consciousness or behavior
- Demonstration of eggs or proglottids
- Patients may pass motile segments of worms through anus
- CSF eosinophilia
Enzyme-linked immunotransfer blot (EITB):90% sensitivity & specificity
- Detection of antibodies
CT and MRI (brain):Diagnostic
- Anti-cysticercosis medications:
- Steroids (2-3 days before and during treatment)
- During treatment, dying parasities can provoke severe life-threatening inflammatory response which can be prevented by giving steroids
- Anticonvulsant medication
- Children having seizures and calcified, inactive lesions on CT do not require specific therapy, apart from anticonvulsants.
- Antiparasitic drugs
- Anti-cysticercal drugs:
- Albendazole and praziquantel
- Contraindicated for spinal or ocular disease as drug-induced inflammation may produce irreversible organ damage
- These lesions, as well as those within the ventricular system, are best managed surgically.