Diphyllobothriasis In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment

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Diphyllobothriasis In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment
Diphyllobothriasis In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment

Video: Diphyllobothriasis In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment

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Video: Tape Worm Infestation & Diseases 2023, February
Broad tapeworm - causative agent of diphyllobothriasis
Broad tapeworm - causative agent of diphyllobothriasis

Worm infestations are parasitic diseases that are widespread throughout the world. The appearance of helminths in the body contributes to a decrease in immunity, a deterioration in the general condition and an increase in the amount of opportunistic microflora. Diphyllobothriasis is one of the types of helminthic invasion, which, like any other disease, has a number of features. To prevent the development of serious complications, it is necessary to know the main symptoms of diphyllobothriasis and the ways of its transmission.


  1. Features of the disease and transmission routes
  2. Symptoms
  3. Diagnostics
  4. Treatment
  5. Drug treatment
  6. Biltricide.
  7. Dekaris
  8. Unconventional treatments
  9. Prevention and possible complications

Features of the disease and transmission routes

Diphyllobothriasis occurs as a result of infection with helminths of a certain type: a group of cestodoses, the genus Diphyllobothrium (broad tapeworm). Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, the development of anemia (lack of vitamin B12) are only part of the pathologies resulting from the appearance of this type of parasites in the body.

Diphyllobothriasis can be transmitted in several ways:

  • when eating insufficiently thermally processed freshwater fish or caviar (larvae die at very low and very high temperatures);
  • infection through larvae left on hands, dishes or cutlery after cutting the fish.
The entry of a broad tapeworm into the human body
The entry of a broad tapeworm into the human body

The life cycle of the broad tapeworm begins in freshwater reservoirs filled with the larvae of these helminths. Before reaching its final host, it goes through several more stages of development, and has time to change two intermediate hosts: different species of copepods and predatory fish (in the body of fish that swallow infected crustaceans, a broad tapeworm migrates from the intestines to muscles and eggs).

Worms of this type reach 10 m in length, their body consists of many proglottids and a head with suction cups, with which they are attached to the intestinal walls.

The ultimate masters are humans and carnivores. Once in the human body, helminths can parasitize for a long time, damaging the intestinal walls, and in the absence of treatment, it can affect the central nervous system and spinal cord.

Due to this factor, this disease is not common.


For a long time, the disease may not manifest itself in any way. On average, the incubation period can last up to 2 months. Further, mild symptoms are observed: gastrointestinal disorders, an increase in body temperature to subfebrile levels, itching, stomach pain. With an increase in helminths in size or their accumulation, intestinal obstruction may occur.

Diphyllobothriasis symptoms
Diphyllobothriasis symptoms

As a result of the vital activity of a broad tapeworm, a person may develop pathological processes not only in the gastrointestinal tract, but also in other organs and systems.

The presence of diphyllobothriasis in the body is confirmed by the following symptoms:

  • the occurrence of allergic reactions (allergic dermatitis);
  • deficiency of vitamins B12 and B9 and, as a result, the development of anemia;
  • weakened immunity;
  • disturbances in the functioning of the nervous system (numbness, paresthesia, unsteady gait);
  • enlargement of the liver and spleen;
  • the presence of inflammatory processes in the oral mucosa;
  • changes in indicators of a general blood test.

By the nature of the course, diphyllobothriasis is divided into two forms: acute and chronic. The disease can also occur in a manifest and latent (latent) form.


Diagnosis of diphyllobothriasis should be carried out under the guidance of a qualified specialist. If you suspect this disease, the doctor may ask a number of questions regarding the preparation or consumption of fish over the past few months (it is specified which fish was cooked or eaten).

Blood test for diphyllobothriasis
Blood test for diphyllobothriasis

A number of the following diagnostic measures are also prescribed:

  • a general blood test (there is a decrease in the level of hemoglobin and the number of erythrocytes, an increase in ESR, eosinophilia, neutropenia and lymphocytosis);
  • biochemical blood test (an increased level of bilirubin is detected);
  • feces study (the main analysis confirming or refuting the presence of diphyllobothriasis; it is necessary to collect feces on the day of the analysis, so that the helminth eggs do not lose their viability).

After a thorough diagnosis has been carried out and an accurate diagnosis has been established, there is a need to examine the patient's family or those around him (if they also ate infected fish).

Specialists whose help may be needed in case of infection with diphyllobothriasis: therapist, infectious disease specialist, hematologist, neuropathologist, surgeon.


In most cases, treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis, but in the presence of severe anemia, inpatient care may be needed.

You can get rid of worms with the help of medicines, traditional medicine and surgery.

Drug treatment

Medicines for diphyllobothriasis
Medicines for diphyllobothriasis

With drug treatment, the safest and most effective drugs are prescribed:


The instructions for use of Biltricid say that it is prescribed in an individual dosage (depending on the patient's weight and what pathogen is present in the body), with diphyllobothriasis, this treatment regimen works: 25 mg / kg once a day.

Biltricid is contraindicated for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, in children under 4 years of age and in the presence of individual intolerance to the components of the drug.


Decaris is prescribed for diphyllobothriasis in the following dosages: children 3-6 years old (dosage 50 mg) - 0.5-1 tablet per day, 6-10 years old - 1-1.5 tablets, 10-14 years old - 1.5-2 tablets. Adults - 1 tablet per day at a dosage of 150 mg.

The drug Dekaris has the same contraindications for use as Biltricid.

In addition to anthelmintic drugs, the patient is prescribed other drugs necessary for complex treatment:

  • antihistamines (Suprastin, Tavegil, etc.),
  • enterosorbents (Smecta, Polysorb, Enterosgel, etc.);
  • immunomodulators (Pentoxil, Sodium Nucleinate, etc.);
  • probiotics (Linex, Yogurt, etc.);
  • vitamin complexes (containing vitamins B12 and B9);
  • laxatives.

Treatment with drugs for diphyllobothriasis is the most effective way to get rid of the disease.

Unconventional treatments

One of the old methods of getting rid of helminths is the use of pumpkin seeds: seeds (300 g) are poured with warm boiled water (60 ml), after which they are ground and consumed on an empty stomach. After 3 hours, take a laxative and give an enema.

Pumpkin seeds for worms
Pumpkin seeds for worms

The advantage of using this product is its non-toxicity. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in beneficial minerals and substances. The main one is the amino acid cucurbitin, which paralyzes helminths and removes them from the body.

Seeds can be combined with carrots: grated carrots (3 tablespoons) and chopped pumpkin seeds (30 grams), diluted with vegetable oil (2 tablespoons). It is necessary to take the prepared mixture on an empty stomach, after 3 hours, drink castor oil (1 tablespoon).

Carrots from worms
Carrots from worms

Traditional medicine can only be used as an auxiliary, only after the approval of the attending physician and under his close supervision.

The need for surgical intervention arises when the patient develops intestinal obstruction. This condition is very dangerous to health, as it threatens with irreversible changes, which sometimes cannot be restored even after an operation that eliminates the obstruction.

Prevention and possible complications

Prevention of diphyllobothriasis is based on the implementation of the following recommendations:

  • observe the temperature regime for storing and preparing fish;
  • carry out regular sanitary control of fresh water bodies;
  • persons at risk (fishermen, food workers) should be systematically examined for the presence of helminths in the body;
  • personal hygiene must be observed (after handling fish, hands must be thoroughly washed with antibacterial soap).

If untreated, complications are possible in the form of anemia, funicular myelosis (spinal cord damage), intestinal obstruction (blockage), peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum). With timely referral to specialists and proper treatment, the prognosis is favorable.


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