How Can A Person Become Infected With Worms - Parasites, How It Gets Infected

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How Can A Person Become Infected With Worms - Parasites, How It Gets Infected
How Can A Person Become Infected With Worms - Parasites, How It Gets Infected

Video: How Can A Person Become Infected With Worms - Parasites, How It Gets Infected

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Video: Do I have a parasite? 2023, February

The disease with helminthiasis is one of the most common problems in medicine not only in third world countries, but also in countries with a developed healthcare sector. Even with a very high standard of living, people cannot provide themselves with such protection from worms in which the risk of infection would be completely absent. The category especially prone to parasitic infestations is young children who do not follow the rules of personal hygiene. Knowing how you can get infected with worms often helps prevent helminthiasis, so it is worth reading this topic in more detail.


  • 1 Routes of ingestion
  • 2 Distribution mechanisms
  • 3 Adaptive properties

Methods of entering the body

Many believe that the only way to become infected with helminths is through the passage of eggs into the digestive tract. In fact, parasitologists say that this is not so, and they call four different ways of worms entering the human body:

  • Alimentary. This term means that the penetration of eggs was due to insufficient processing of food or drinking contaminated water. Sometimes, involuntary swallowing of water is possible when swimming from water bodies in which parasites live or pass their larval stages.
  • Contact and household. It is possible to become infected in this way if there is a sick person, an animal with helminthiasis in the environment, or there is contact with infected things.
  • Active. This does not mean the passive behavior of the larva aimed at getting into the final host. In this method, only larvae penetrate through the skin or mucous tissues, which are able to penetrate through the outer membranes due to the destruction of integumentary tissues or the release of special chemicals that destroy skin cells. Eggs of worms cannot actively penetrate through the skin.
  • Transmissive. This method requires the presence of an intermediate host, for example, an insect that bites a person. When bitten, eggs enter the bloodstream. Blood-sucking insects most often secrete substances that prevent blood coagulation, which facilitates the migration of parasites along the bloodstream. After entering the desired organ, the egg lingers in it, where further development takes place until the adult stage.

The active method in countries with temperate and cold climates occurs in exceptional cases. Most often, through the skin, the eggs of the worms enter the zones with a tropical climate, where the humidity and high average daily temperatures are constantly increased.

Distribution mechanisms

You should know that a suitable medium for the life of worm eggs is earth, sand, clay and other types of soil. Because of this, eggs end up on the roots and aboveground parts of plants. Agricultural workers involved in the cultivation and collection of fruit-bearing and green crops are at risk of infection with worms through contact with fruits and vegetables.

The risk becomes even greater if pets, which can become a source of infection, are open to the beds. Therefore, villagers harvesting in their own gardens, confident in the quality of fruits and vegetables, should still pour boiling water over them before drinking, and it is better to subject them to full heat treatment.


Another source of infection is insects. These can be not only blood-sucking species, but also ordinary cockroaches or flies, on the legs of which worms are transferred when they sit on food.

Most often, infection occurs from person to person. In children's groups, the presence of an infected child can quickly lead to an epidemic, as children neglect to wash their hands and do not respect personal boundaries. Another source is any domestic animals that are permanent or intermediate hosts for worms. It can be both domestic and agricultural species and breeds.

In the presence of pinworms, worms in the evening and at night lay eggs, crawling out of the anus. Because of this, severe itching is felt in the anal area. A person can scratch this place even in a dream, without realizing it. At the same time, the eggs fall under the bases of the nails, on bed linen, on pajamas or nightgowns, and in the morning they remain on the door handles and on all objects that a person touches before washing his hands and washing himself. This contributes to the rapid infection of all family members.


Often, infection with worms occurs while bathing. The ingestion of worms occurs quite often when water is accidentally swallowed from reservoirs, especially if they do not freeze in winter or animals are raised next to them.

Adaptive properties

In order for infection with worms to be possible and extremely simple, a number of adaptive properties have developed in nature. The main ones are:

  • The ability to weaken the body's immune response, which occurs when worms are introduced. Such a phenomenon can spread to the entire body or be registered only in the place where penetration occurs.
  • Some types of worms have a very long lifespan, sometimes it is limited by the lifespan of the final host.
  • Most of the eggs of helminths are very resistant to external adverse manifestations and remain viable, despite a drop in temperature or a lack of moisture. Sometimes the pot life is measured in years.
  • Most species, when breeding, form a huge number of eggs, which contributes to successful reproduction and increases the chances of getting into the final host for the next generation of parasites.
  • Some species have developed a special protective reaction against destruction in the aggressive environment of the body. The worms begin to produce special substances - antienzymes that protect them from the enzymes contained in the digestive enzymes. This can lead to indigestion, often allergic reactions occur in the form of atopic dermatitis or asthma.

In addition, it should be noted that effective drug prevention, which would guarantee that a person does not become infected with worms, has not yet been developed. All available anthelmintic agents fight against existing helminthiases, but do not protect a person from the penetration of worms.

Infection becomes more likely also because helminths have mastered many habitats at the larval stage. They are distributed in air, water, soil and ground, as well as on representatives of flora and fauna.

Read also:

  • Types of research for the diagnosis of helminthiasis in humans
  • What do worm eggs look like?
  • How worms can be transmitted from person to person

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