Dwarf Tapeworm In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment

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Dwarf Tapeworm In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment
Dwarf Tapeworm In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment
Video: Dwarf Tapeworm In Humans, Symptoms And Treatment
Video: Recognize Dwarf Tapeworm Infection 2023, February
Photo of a dwarf tapeworm
Photo of a dwarf tapeworm

Dwarf tapeworm in humans causes a disease called hymenolepiasis, which in 30% of cases occurs without specific symptoms. The peculiarity of this parasite is a closed life cycle. Unlike other flukes, it does not need an intermediate host.


  1. Structure and prevalence
  2. Life cycle and routes of infection
  3. Signs of hymenolepiasis
  4. Diagnostics
  5. Treatment
  6. Medicines
  7. Folk recipes
  8. Preventive measures
  9. Output

Structure and prevalence

Dwarf tapeworm is the smallest representative of tapeworms belonging to the order of cyclofellids. An adult grows up to 1 - 5 cm in length. The scolex (worm head) is equipped with small hooks that allow it to be held in one place, and 4 suction cups. The body consists of 100-200 segments - proglottids, in which the process of egg development proceeds in stages. The closer to the tail, the more mature the proglottids become. As it matures, the segment is rejected and, together with feces, gets outside. An adult parasitizes in the small intestine, attaching itself to the intestinal wall with suction cups.

The structure of the dwarf tapeworm
The structure of the dwarf tapeworm

Helminth eggs require a warm, humid climate, so hymenolepiasis is widespread in Latin American countries, on the African continent, in India, and Asian countries. In Russia, it is found in the southern regions: in the Caucasus, in the Krasnodar Territory.

Life cycle and routes of infection

In comparison with the feline fluke, whose development requires repeated changes in the intermediate host, the life cycle of the parasite can proceed in two ways:

  1. Eggs excreted with feces are eaten by insects and develop in their body into cistercoids (larvae). Infected insects become food for rodents or enter human food, such as a mealy beetle. Fleas often become carriers of larvae. Once in a favorable environment, cistercoids are introduced into the intestinal wall using hooks and suction cups.
  2. Bursting proglottids throw eggs into the intestinal lumen, surrounded by a protective shell - oncospheres, which contain the larvae. After 5 - 7 days, the larva is transformed into an embryo (cistercoid) and then into an adult.

Infection routes:

Oral-fecal Ingestion of contaminated products into the human digestive system. Oncospheres can be found in raw water, on poorly washed vegetables, fruits and berries. Finns - the larvae of the worm are found in the muscle tissue of the animal.
Contagious The source of infection is a person who is a carrier of helminths. Infection occurs when using common household items.
Autoinvasive A transmission route where one person is the source and ultimate host of the parasite.

Signs of hymenolepiasis

It is difficult to determine the infection with helminths by the clinical picture. The intensity of manifestations depends on the state of the human immune system, the number of invasions, the stage of development of the parasite. In addition, the disease has no specific symptoms. You can suspect the presence of hymenolepiasis if you have the following triad of symptoms:

  1. Dyspeptic disorders of the digestive system: causeless nausea, sudden diarrhea, frequent inflammatory processes in the intestines, periodic bitterness in the mouth. Taste preferences change, lack of appetite worries.
  2. Pain syndrome. The pain is of varying intensity and character: acute or dull, constant or intermittent, aching or spastic. It is localized in different parts of the abdomen, there are wandering pains.
  3. Astheno-neurotic syndrome. When infected with a dwarf tapeworm, the nervous system suffers, which is manifested by headaches, rapid fatigue, insomnia, and increased irritability.

With high invasiveness and low immune status, the condition worsens:

  • there are signs of liver damage, regular spastic pain in the abdominal region;
  • dizziness takes on the character of vascular dystonia;
  • allergic-type rashes are possible on the skin;
  • persistent cough and signs of bronchial asthma;
  • itching occurs, often itching in the anus.

Children may experience neuroses and seizures. When the larva of the dwarf tapeworm migrates into the eyes, inflammation of the conjunctiva, lacrimal glands occurs, and the optic nerve can be affected. In this case, you can only get rid of the parasite by surgery. Hair loss due to helminths is associated with a lack of protein. But such damage to a person can only be inflicted by a bull tapeworm.


The main diagnostic method is the detection of dwarf tapeworm eggs in feces. The patient's morning feces are examined three times with an interval of 14 - 21 days, in accordance with the life cycle of the worm. As a rule, this is enough to identify oncospheres.

Chain under the microscope
Chain under the microscope

Sometimes, before taking the analysis, the doctor prescribes drugs that promote the rejection of proglottids, which increases their number in feces.


To carry out deworming and neutralize the pathogenic effect of the parasite, complex and cyclic therapy is required. Treatment consists of a direct effect on the pathogen, activation of the immune system and maintenance of a gentle regimen in the post-treatment period. Necessary steps:

  1. Diet table number 13 - nutrition for acute infectious disease.
  2. Specific antiparasitic drugs.
  3. Traditional therapy.
  4. Rehabilitation therapy: adsorbents, immunostimulants, hepatoprotectors.


For the treatment of the disease, Praziquantel and Fenasal are more often prescribed. The effect of drugs on helminths is identical. Damaging the neuromuscular system of the worm, they deprive it of the ability to stay on the intestinal mucosa. Falling out into the intestinal lumen, the parasite is excreted in the feces.

Praziquantel is taken once, the dose is calculated based on the patient's body weight. The course is repeated for 5-7 days. The drug has proven itself well in the fight against dwarf tapeworm, but is contraindicated in children under 4 years of age.

Fenasal has no age restrictions, the prescribed dosage varies:

  • up to two years of age - 0.5 g;
  • up to five years of age - 1 g;
  • 5-12 years old - 1.5 g;
  • children over 12 years old and adults - 2 - 3g

The daily dose is divided by four and taken at regular intervals. During treatment, abundant drinking and diet are indicated.

Folk recipes

People's councils serve as a preventive rather than a therapeutic measure. They are based on the introduction of foods intolerable by helminths: garlic, horseradish, radish, pumpkin seeds. As a concomitant drug treatment, a decoction of wormwood is used: 10 g of dried, chopped herbs are brewed with 2 cups of boiling water and simmered over low heat for half an hour. The tool is taken half a glass three times a day.

Preventive measures

The invasive stage of the dwarf tapeworm in an open environment is no more than 10 days, then the parasite dies. Therefore, the disease does not require specific prophylaxis. Preventive measures are reduced to maintaining personal hygiene, eliminating bad habits, such as nail biting. Food must be carefully processed. The excrement of domestic animals may be contaminated: cow, sheep, chicken. Care should be taken when farming.


Infection with a dwarf tapeworm leads to a malfunction of the digestive, nervous system, negatively affects the cardiovascular system. Treating a parasitic infection is not difficult, but requires self-discipline and a responsible approach.

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