Enterobiasis: Disease Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment

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Enterobiasis: Disease Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment
Enterobiasis: Disease Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment

Video: Enterobiasis: Disease Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment

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Video: Enterobius vermicularis 2023, February

Today there are more than 200 types of parasites that are capable of infecting human organs and systems, thereby causing irreparable harm to him. One of the most widely known helminths is pinworms. They provoke the most common disease in the world - enterobiasis, which is also called the disease of dirty hands.


Children most often become victims of enterobiasis, but this does not mean that an adult cannot contract this infection. Enterobiasis can overtake a person at any age, since people do not have immunity against parasitic invasions. But all the same, children are the main risk group, especially infants after a year and children of preschool age. At this age, the child learns the world around him, gets to know the animals, wants to taste everything, uses common toys with his peers. And all of these actions are a violation of sanitary and hygiene standards. Pinworms enter the human body only through the mouth, and the source of the disease is only the person suffering from enterobiasis.


  1. Enterobiasis - a description of the disease
  2. Statistics
  3. Infection routes
  4. Development mechanism
  5. Symptoms
  6. Enterobiasis treatment
  7. How to treat
  8. Prevention

Enterobiasis - a description of the disease

Enterobiasis is a parasitic disease of enterobius vermicularis, caused by pinworms (worms) and characterized by intestinal damage, severe allergies and severe itching around the anal canal. The term enterobiasis (enterobius) comes from the Greek word enteron (intestines) and bios (life), and vermicularis (worm), which inhabits the human intestine.


Pinworm is a small, spindle-shaped worm of white or gray color. The appearance of the pinworm justifies its name, since the tail of the worm has a pointed appearance. The female pinworm is usually twice as large as the male, and its tail reaches 12 mm in length. The food system in pinworms is poorly developed, represented by the mouth opening, three lips and a cylindrical esophagus, which immediately passes into the intestine and ends with the anus in the back of the body. The mouth opening and intestines form a suction apparatus, with which adult pinworms attach to the intestinal walls.

It is known that fertilized females cannot lay eggs on the intestinal mucosa, since the genitals of the parasite are in a spasmodic state in an alkaline environment. Therefore, they migrate outward to lay eggs. It is this fact that causes itching around the anus in patients with enterobiasis. Pinworm eggs are characterized by an elongated asymmetric shape and are protected by a thin, smooth shell, very stable in the external environment. A favorable environment for the development and habitat for adult pinworms is the lower part of the small intestine, the cecum and the upper part of the large intestine. Pinworms live for 5-6 weeks, and only females parasitize in the human body, and males die immediately after mating and are excreted from the body along with feces. The number of pinworms in the body is estimated at several dozen,and in the case of reinvasion, by thousands of adults.


There are a number of stereotypical misconceptions that parasitic infections are common in underdeveloped countries, among the poor and disadvantaged groups of the population, who do not comply with sanitary standards and do not have access to quality medicine. However, this is not the case.

According to statistics from the WHO (World Health Organization), in developed prosperous countries, a large number of people are infected with worms (pinworms). And the thing is that parasites, in particular worms, have a high ability to survive, regardless of environmental conditions. Pinworms have a powerful reproductive apparatus, and their eggs are able to live for years in the external environment in anticipation of a potential victim.


Of all people living on our planet, every eighth person is infected with enterobiasis. And his level of life and life is not at all important, the disease can affect anyone, since pinworm eggs are found everywhere in the environment.

The transmission of pinworm eggs occurs in an instant: a person touches his body, then touches common household items or other people, and the eggs are instantly dispersed into the environment.

There is another misconception that animals are the main carriers of pinworm eggs. In fact, the opposite is true, it is a person who infects pets with pinworms. However, in the body of an animal, pinworms cannot live long, they always return back to their "native" home or simply die.

To our great luck, pinworms are not the most dangerous parasites in the human body. They do not affect internal organs and systems, live only in the intestines and most often do not cause any serious health problems.

Infection routes

Female pinworms, crawling out and gaining access to oxygen, lay a huge number of eggs in the perianal folds. After a few hours, the eggs, in which there are mobile larvae, acquire migratory properties and are capable of invasion already on the human body. When a person touches his own body, scratches the itchy areas, the eggs fall on the hands and then into the mouth. Eggs also spread everywhere, they can be found on items of general household use, underwear of an infected person, on the toilet lid, doorknobs, and common towels.

When eggs are swallowed, a person is re-infected with enterobiasis. And thus a new cycle of parasite development begins in his body. Once in the body, pinworm eggs penetrate the small intestine and, under the action of certain enzymes, are freed from the egg shell, become larvae, begin to grow rapidly, and turn into sexually mature individuals.


After mating, males leave the intestines with feces, and females, using their suction apparatus, are fixed on the intestinal mucosa. At this time, the formation and maturation of eggs occurs in the female's uterus, which increase in size and squeeze the suction apparatus of the parasite.

As a result, the female loses the ability to stay on the mucous membranes of the small intestine and, under the influence of its active peristalsis, enters the large intestine. After the eggs are fully ripe in the female's uterus, she crawls out to lay eggs, which, after a couple of hours, will acquire the ability to migrate and enter the body, for re-infection with parasites and a new development cycle. The laying of eggs occurs at night, during a person's sleep, since it is at this time that the sphincter of the anus is maximally relaxed. Females of parasites use this time to quickly and easily penetrate outside and lay eggs, the number of which can exceed 20 thousand eggs of only one female. After laying eggs, females die quickly.

Development mechanism

The mechanism of development of enterobiasis depends primarily on compliance with the rules of personal hygiene and household sanitary conditions of a person's home. An enterobiasis carrier can spread helminth eggs through dirty hands everywhere:

  • in public places;
  • on general household items;
  • on money and food;
  • in public transport;
  • flies are also capable of spreading pinworm eggs.

For a long time, eggs are able to maintain dynamic invasive properties. Only the sun's rays, and the high dryness of the air has a detrimental effect on them.

Nowadays, the mechanism of the influence of pinworms on the human body is well known:

  1. Possessing a powerful suction apparatus, pinworms mechanically damage the intestinal mucosa, thereby violating its integrity, which can lead to the development of inflammatory processes and the emergence of secondary foci of infection. Cases of peritonitis are also known, as a result of pinworm damage to the intestinal walls, and their penetration into the abdominal cavity. The mechanical effect of pinworms on the intestinal mucosa causes irritation of the intestinal receptors and disruption of the motor and secretory function of the digestive tract, followed by the development of gastrointestinal diseases. Pinworms suppress the vital activity of the beneficial intestinal flora, which leads to the inevitable development of dysbiosis.
  2. Also, pinworms are a common cause of the development of inflammation of the appendix (appendicitis), when migrating into the cecum. This parasitic infection can provoke gynecological diseases (vulvovaginitis) even in young girls, as well as inflammation of the urinary tract (cystitis). In the process of anal scratching, as a result of severe itching, skin diseases can develop: dermatitis and eczema.
  3. The waste products of pinworms can cause toxic poisoning, which is more common in children and pregnant women. Enterobiasis during pregnancy becomes more pronounced due to painful intoxication and severe itching in the anal area.
  4. Enterobiasis in adults, in addition to the characteristic symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract, is manifested by a reaction from the nervous system, since the night itching is very exhausting a person, not allowing him to fully rest, as a result, a person becomes nervous, irritable, quick-tempered, which affects his mood and performance.
  5. Parasites in the human body are capable of suppressing the immune system. For this purpose, in the process of evolution, they have invented sophisticated defense mechanisms, in such a way that the human body cannot recognize and destroy them. As a result of the weakening of the immune system, various viral and bacterial infections join.


The manifestation of the symptoms of enterobiasis depends on the degree of infection, the frequency of repeated infections and the individual reaction of a person to the waste products of parasites. At the first cases of infection, an acute stage develops, which lasts a week and is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • mild intestinal disorders;
  • nausea;
  • abdominal discomfort (minor pain).

The second stage of the disease is chronic, which lasts from 35 to 70 days. During this period, the main symptom is observed: itching in the anus, which appears most often at night. The itching then disappears and appears with re-infection as the next generation of pinworms mature, usually after about a month.


In very serious cases with massive parasitic infections, severe itching, burning and discomfort in the anus can be observed even during the day, causing a lot of inconvenience to a person. In addition, during this period, other symptoms join:

  • cramping abdominal pain;
  • bloating (flatulence);
  • diarrhea;
  • decreased appetite.

Chronic enterobiasis is also manifested by neurological symptoms, which are more pronounced in children:

  • nervousness and tearfulness;
  • mood swings;
  • frequent headaches;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • increased fatigue;
  • decreased concentration and cognitive ability.

The many clinical manifestations that are observed in enterobiasis do not allow a parasitic infection to be diagnosed with a certain accuracy. Only as a result of laboratory diagnostics a true diagnosis is made. The symptoms of enterobiasis in adults are less pronounced than in children, but in this case it all depends on the severity of the parasitic infection.

Enterobiasis treatment

As a rule, the main symptoms of enterobiasis are also observed in many other diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct laboratory studies of a smear or scraping for enterobiasis. The study includes a smear for enterobiasis, which is currently the most informative diagnostic method. Scraping for enterobiasis is taken in order to detect pinworm eggs. The material is collected in the morning, after the female pinworms have laid eggs at night. To do this, use a special cotton swab for adults and a one-sided adhesive plastic tape for children. Biological material in laboratory conditions is examined under a microscope. For an accurate diagnosis of enterobiasis, the analysis is repeated at least three times. A blood test shows a shift in the formula towards an increase in leukocytes and eosinophils,which reach a maximum two weeks after parasitic invasion.


How to treat

Treatment of enterobiasis includes a whole range of medical measures:

  • establishing a circle of contact persons (in kindergarten, school, family and work);
  • study for enterobiasis of all contact persons;
  • persons who show signs of enterobiasis are subject to examination and simultaneous deworming;
  • carrying out preventive measures to prevent parasitic reinvasion;
  • re-examination to identify parasites, after the main course of treatment.

Do not forget that the main measure to prevent the development of a parasitic infection is strict adherence to hygiene rules:

  • carry out hand and nail hygiene: be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet, cut your nails short, and also eliminate the bad habit of nail biting;
  • infected with enterobiasis wear closed panties with elastic bands at the top and bottom at night, and it is also necessary to change underwear daily;
  • with massive parasitic infestation, it is necessary to carry out cleansing enemas with soda at night in order to eliminate female pinworms, thus preventing nighttime itching;
  • you can also use special ointments to prevent nighttime itching;
  • in order to prevent the development of gynecological diseases in women, it is advisable to close the anus with a small cotton swab at night;
  • carry out daily wet cleaning of the living quarters using a soap and soda solution;
  • thoroughly wipe the door handles, toilet bowl, common items, children's toys;
  • the washed underwear must be ironed with a hot iron.

Sometimes these measures are enough for a complete cure. Treatment of enterobiasis in adults is carried out with the help of pharmacological drugs. However, only an infectious disease doctor should prescribe treatment. You should not self-medicate and take medication yourself. In case of especially severe parasitic infestation, the following principle is used: pharmacological preparations plus strict observance of sanitary and hygienic standards.


Disease prevention is carried out in the following areas:

  • identification of infected persons;
  • exclusion of the mechanisms of transmission of the eggs of the parasite;
  • health improvement of infected persons;
  • prevention of the spread of enterobiasis.

The following persons must be examined for enterobiasis once a year:

  • children and preschool workers;
  • junior students and school teachers;
  • catering workers.

Examination for enterobiasis is mandatory:

  • in patients undergoing treatment in hospitals;
  • from workers in the food industry;
  • from persons visiting the pools.

In the latter case, a certificate for enterobiasis for the pool is required, otherwise, visiting the pool will be prohibited.


With a common parasitic infection in the children's team, the following measures are taken:

  • all children and employees of the child care facility are screened for enterobiasis;
  • during the period of treatment, infected children are suspended from attending a preschool or educational institution;
  • with a massive spread of the disease, quarantine is established and the children's institution is temporarily closed;
  • for the purpose of prophylaxis, healthy children and workers are given two-time antiparasitic treatment with an interval of two weeks;
  • contaminated food workers are freed from kitchen work until they are fully recovered.

In order to prevent parasitic infections, educational work is of great importance, which is carried out by employees of the sanitary and epidemiological station, family doctors, medical workers of preschool and educational institutions.

From an early age, parents should instill in children the basics of hygiene rules, conduct educational work in order to prevent helminth infestation.

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