Helminths And Helminthiases: Classification, Routes Of Infection, Prevention

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Helminths And Helminthiases: Classification, Routes Of Infection, Prevention
Helminths And Helminthiases: Classification, Routes Of Infection, Prevention

Video: Helminths And Helminthiases: Classification, Routes Of Infection, Prevention

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Video: Helminths: Cestodes and Trematodes (transmission, clinical importance, and treatment) 2023, February

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  • Where does helminthiasis come from?
  • Signs of helminthiasis
  • Why is helminthiasis dangerous? Complications and consequences
  • Helminthiasis in children
  • Types of helminths
  • Helminthiasis - the main phases in adults

    • Acute stage of helminthiasis
    • Chronic stage of helminthiasis
  • Resistance of helminth eggs
  • You can defeat parasites!

Helminthiasis is a parasitic, infectious disease caused by helminths (parasitic worms or simply worms).

There are many types of this disease (about 400). They all differ in the types of these same worms, but, usually, their symptoms are very similar, as well as the course of treatment.

What to do in such a situation? To get started, we recommend reading this article. This article details the methods of dealing with parasites. We also recommend contacting a specialist. Read the article >>>

In this article, we will consider: The causes and what are helminths and helminthiases, symptoms and treatment in children and adults, how to be treated for a disease, danger, diagnosis, signs and warnings.

How to treat pinworms in a child
How to treat pinworms in a child

Where does helminthiasis come from?

The very first and main reason for infection with helminthiasis is the ingestion of eggs or larvae of a parasitic worm into the human body.

How can the larvae or eggs of a worm get into our body?

  1. Neglecting hand washing, especially after outside. Eating unwashed, dirty vegetables, fruits, and so on. Drinking water from rivers, lakes, ponds. Contact with animals without precautions, especially risk of infection from street animals. In simple terms, all this is not adherence to the rules of personal hygiene and unsanitary conditions.
  2. Insufficient heat treatment of meat or fish, consumption of raw milk and poorly treated water.
  3. Weakened immunity can contribute to infection. Usually in children or older children, sometimes in pregnant women.
  4. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, dysbiosis.
  5. Constant presence in unsanitary buildings and premises.
How worms get into the ass
How worms get into the ass

Signs of helminthiasis

The impact of worms on the body occurs for a long time: from two weeks to several years. The complex of actions of parasites goes through several stages. The main symptoms of the appearance of worms in the body:

  • constipation / diarrhea;
  • gas formation, bloating;
  • poor sleep;
  • allergy.

In case of untimely treatment, acute helminthiasis flows into the chronic stage. In this case, there are: indigestion, nervous system, joint and muscle pain, anemia. Sometimes organ damage by parasites leads to serious consequences. With any suspicion of their appearance, you must consult a doctor.

Get tested for worms

Symptoms Answer Itching in the anal area Yes Not Dysbacteriosis Yes Not General weakness Yes Not Dry cough Yes Not The appearance of allergic reactions Yes Not Weight loss Yes Not Headaches Yes Not Dizziness Yes Not Increased irritability Yes Not Swelling of the face and eyelids Yes Not

Why is helminthiasis dangerous? Complications and consequences

Modern medicine allows you to detect the disease in time and cure it. Therefore, serious consequences were recorded in rare cases. The vital activity of helminths, depending on the species, leads to the following consequences:

  • obstruction of the bronchi or intestines;
  • allergic rash;
  • predisposition to poisoning;
  • the development of anemia;
  • deterioration of health;
  • lowering the percentage of hydrochloric acid in gastric juice.

Helminthic invasion can provoke weight loss, the acquisition of a pale skin, itching in the anal passage. Complications depend on the type of parasite and the degree of infection. The appearance of helminths in children and during pregnancy is especially dangerous.

Helminthiasis in children

Symptoms of the development of the disease in children are similar to infectious and non-infectious diseases, which complicate diagnosis. Detection of helminthiasis in small patients occurs in the laboratory (delivery of tests). Outbreaks of infection are observed in the spring and summer. The age of children who are especially susceptible to the disease is from one to 14 years. Unfortunately, the development of helminthiasis is also observed in infants. The larvae are able to enter the body of the crumbs through the mother during pregnancy, household members or animals. Infection through insects is possible. This is how transmissible helminthiases are transferred.

The first signs of infection in a child appear 2-3 days after contact with a carrier of the infection. The phase of the disease is similar to the signs of ARVI:

  • malaise;
  • loss of appetite;
  • cough;
  • temperature.

Perhaps the appearance of urticaria, rash on the limbs, flatulence, nausea. Prolonged invasion in a child can lead to side infectious processes: stomatitis, purulent diseases.

Worms in children under one year old
Worms in children under one year old

In the first case, parasites develop in the intestines, in the second, in other organs. Infection with helminthiasis in children occurs mainly with nematodes. A common causative agent of childhood helminthiasis is ascaris. Larval migration occurs through dirty fruits and water, causing ascariasis. Other types of helminths rarely enter the child's body.

Types of helminths

In the human body, according to various estimates, from 250 to 350 different types of helminths can parasitize. Human parasitic helminths belong to two types of worms:

  • Roundworms (class Nematoda);
  • Flatworms (class Cestoidea and class Trematoda).

Roundworms - human parasites are called nematodes, from the Latin name for the class Nematoda to which they belong. All nematodes are classified as roundworms due to the shape of their body, which resembles a long rounded stick or pencil. And the flatworms that parasitize the human body are represented by two classes - Cestoidea and Trematoda. The former (Cestoidea) are also called cestodes or tapeworms because their shape resembles a flat and long ribbon. The second class of flatworms (Trematoda), related to human parasites, are called flukes because they penetrate into various organs and, as it were, stick to them.

Both types of worms parasitizing in the human body include many species, united into classes based on the general shape of the body, methods of reproduction, etc. When detecting helminthiasis, it is always necessary to identify the specific type of parasite that caused the disease, since only in this case it is possible select an adequate and effective treatment. Therefore, below we list the types of parasitic helminths of all three classes that most often infect humans.

So, the following types of parasites that are most common in humans are related to nematodes:

  • Ascaris;
  • Angiostrongyla;
  • Hookworms;
  • Vlasoglav;
  • Wuhererei;
  • Dirofilaria;
  • Necators;
  • Onchocerci;
  • Pinworms (Enterobiasis);
  • Strongyloids;
  • Toxocars;
  • Trichinella;
  • Trichostrongylides;
  • Filaria, etc.
Roundworms (nematodes)
Roundworms (nematodes)

Roundworms (nematodes)

The following types of tapeworms are referred to cestodes, which can parasitize in the human body:

  • Alveococcus;
  • Bovine tapeworm (unarmed tapeworm, bovine tapeworm);
  • Dwarf tapeworm;
  • Multiceps (Sheep Brain);
  • Pork tapeworm (armed tapeworm, pork tapeworm);
  • Cysticercus (pork tapeworm larvae);
  • Wide ribbon;
  • Echinococcus.
Tape worms (cestodes)
Tape worms (cestodes)

Tape worms (cestodes)

Flukes (trematodes) parasitizing in the human body include the following types of flatworms:

  • Feline fluke (Siberian fluke, opistorh);
  • Chinese fluke;
  • Hepatic fluke (fasciola);
  • Paragonium;
  • Metagony;
  • Schistosomes.
Fluke worms (trematodes)
Fluke worms (trematodes)

In fact, the number of species of nematodes, cestodes and flukes, capable of parasitizing in the human body, is much greater, but we give only the main and most common in the CIS countries.

In addition, all types of helminths, depending on their localization in a particular organ in the human body, are divided into two types:

  • Intestinal helminths or luminal (some cestodes and flukes);
  • Extraintestinal helminths or tissue (most nematodes).

Also, helminths are usually subdivided into types depending on the ways of their penetration into the body:

  • Oral (enter the body through the mouth with unwashed vegetables and fruits, contaminated meat, etc.);
  • Percutaneous (enter the body through intact skin).

Helminthiasis - the main phases in adults

After the helminths or their larvae have entered the human body, the following stages of clinical manifestations are observed:

Acute stage of helminthiasis

This phase can last from 1 week to 3 months and is manifested by various common allergic and toxic reactions, regardless of the type of parasite. Severe organ damage such as hepatitis may develop. If you do not carry out proper treatment of helminthiasis at the chronic stage, then the disease turns into a chronic stage.

Serious lesions characteristic of the acute phase of the disease are: pneumonia; allergic myocarditis; meningoencephalitis; hepatitis; disorders of hemostasis. When examined, the infected may show an increase in the liver and spleen - hepatosplenomegaly, in the blood - an increased number of eosinophils - eosinophilia, an imbalance of different types of protein - dysproteinemia.

In the acute phase of the disease, patients complain of:

  • itchy recurrent skin rashes; local or generalized edema;
  • fever; an increase in regional lymph nodes;
  • pain in muscles and joints; cough, attacks of suffocation, chest pain;
  • abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, stool disorders.

Chronic stage of helminthiasis

In the chronic phase of helminthiasis, clinical manifestations directly depend on which organs the helminth parasitizes, on the intensity of the invasion and even on its size. There is a certain level of the number of each type of parasite, at which certain clinical manifestations occur.

What are helminths in humans
What are helminths in humans

The clinical effect depends on the location, type, number of parasites. Single individuals do not cause obvious problems to their hosts. Symptoms of the disease appear when there are too many parasites, resulting in manifestations of prolonged intoxication: malaise, loss of appetite, constant drowsiness and weakness, weight loss.

Parasites feed on foods that enter the human body (proteins, vitamins), therefore, at the chronic stage of helminthiasis, there is a lack of vitamins and minerals in the human body. As a result, the immune system weakens and becomes susceptible to various infectious diseases.

As a result of mechanical damage to tissues caused by helminths, inflammation, tissue atrophy, and disorders of various functions of organs and systems can occur. Intestinal obstruction may occur, due to intestinal blockage with ascaris. Waste products of helminths cause general toxic and allergic effects.

Resistance of helminth eggs

As mentioned above, the number of eggs laid by worms is in the tens and hundreds of thousands. Despite the strategy of spreading its own DNA of the "crush with a mass" format, helminth eggs are not of the simplest structure. They are covered with a multi-layer shell. So, in roundworms, the common "shell" of the egg is a 4-layer shell that protects the embryo from external negative influences. Ascaridates (the so-called roundworm eggs), for example, have an epithelial membrane, glossy, fibrous and lipoid (the latter retains salts, but allows water to pass through).

Depending on the thickness of the shell and its composition, the resistance of helminth eggs to attempts at their destruction also changes.

So, the eggs of the same nematodes die when boiling in a matter of seconds. When dried at body temperature, the eggs of helminths will die in a few days, but if they are dried at a temperature of 70 ° C, then 15 minutes will be enough. Freezing temperatures suspend metabolic processes in eggs, however, they can expect more favorable conditions for 5 years.

Ultraviolet radiation turned out to be effective for the destruction of helminth eggs, which changes the viscosity of the inner contents of the egg, penetrates the nuclear envelope and causes mutations in the helminth's DNA - thereby reducing its already not very high chances of survival.

Hookworm eggs
Hookworm eggs

In order to prevent ascariasis and a number of other helminthiases, methods are being developed to combat the spread of helminth eggs. Including:

Wastewater treatment with phytoplankton

Phytoplankton refers to the unicellular green alga chlorella and the colonial green alga cinedesmus. Along the way, algae destroy E. coli. And microscopic crustaceans rotifers and some mollusks help them in this good cause.

Cleaning the soil with various plants

The roots of wormwood and radish show ovocidal activity, that is, they guarantee the destruction of 50-60% of ascaris embryos in the nearby ascaridates in the rhizosphere (this is the name of the soil area close to the roots). The list of other plants, whose roots destroy future worms, include calendula, marigolds, barley and millet, etc.

Cleaning the environment with protozoa and other living organisms

Some amoebas feed on roundworm eggs and even their free larvae. Predatory ciliates are excellent hunters for eggs of parasites (roundworm, liver fluke, broad tapeworm, etc.). They completely digest helminth eggs within 2-3 days. The offspring of worms also serve as food for oligochaetes and some aquatic insects, etc. Caddisflies and mayflies simply swallow helminth eggs, and water bugs pierce their shells and carefully suck them out. Molluscs, on the other hand, process the shell of eggs with proteolytic enzymes and then digest an almost cooked snack.

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