Tapeworms In Humans: How To Get Rid Of?

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Tapeworms In Humans: How To Get Rid Of?
Tapeworms In Humans: How To Get Rid Of?
Video: Tapeworms In Humans: How To Get Rid Of?
Video: An investigation of Michael Mosley's tapeworms - Infested! Living with Parasites - BBC Four 2023, February

Cestodes or tapeworms are a class of parasitic worms whose life cycle proceeds with a change in the intermediate host. These are the largest representatives of the parasitic world, sometimes their length can reach up to 10 meters. The intermediate hosts of tapeworms are invertebrates, and the final hosts are only vertebrates. In order to develop into a sexually mature individual, cestodes must parasitize in the intestines of the final host, and in order for the larvae to form, tissues of the intermediate host are needed.


  1. The structure of tapeworms
  2. How can you get infected with tapeworms?
  3. Types of tapeworms
  4. Bovine tapeworm
  5. Wide tapeworm
  6. Pork tapeworm
  7. Dwarf tapeworm
  8. Echinococcus
  9. Diagnosis and treatment of tapeworms
  10. How to remove tapeworm from the body
  11. Prevention of tapeworms

The structure of tapeworms

In structure, tapeworms are very different from their other flatworm counterparts. They have a ribbon-like long body, divided into several thousand segments, which become more towards the end of their body.

At the front end of the body, they have a scolex (head), which is a suction apparatus for fixing to the intestinal walls of the host. Suction organs include: suction cups, suction slits, and hooks.


Parasitism is the only form of existence that differs from the path proposed by evolution. Therefore, due to evolutionary degradation (parasites are not able to evolve, they irrevocably degrade), all parasites, living at the expense of others, have long lost their digestive organs (or they are greatly simplified) and adaptation organs (nervous system, locomotion organs and sense organs). As a result, the absorption of nutrients occurs without the digestive system, but by the entire surface of the body. The nervous system in tapeworms is greatly simplified: it is represented by the head node, from which nerve trunks run along the body.

However, all parasites have powerful reproductive organs. The genitals of tapeworms are a hermaphroditic system that repeats in each segment, which leads to greater fertility and great chances for the species to survive with a change of owners. The last segments are completely filled with fertilized eggs, then they are detached from the body and brought out. One such segment can contain up to two hundred eggs, and in general there are several thousand of them.

How can you get infected with tapeworms?

There is an opinion that the helminthiasis caused by tapeworms, they are called cestodosamim (from the name of the class of worms), usually affects only cats and dogs. This is partly true, but people can also get this infection.

Infection is transmitted from person to person in the following ways:

  • through dirty hands (poorly washed hands after a bowel movement);
  • through common household items (if there is an infected person in the family);
  • with low-quality heat treatment of pork, beef and products from these types of meat;
  • when drinking raw water;
  • through contact with infected pets and stray animals.

Tapeworms can be found in any climacteric zone, but the rate of infected people is highly dependent on the region where pork is eaten. For example, 10 million people are infected with tapeworms every year, most of the cases occur in underdeveloped countries, but not only, the infection is also common in the following regions:

  1. Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, in countries where free-grazing cows and pigs are raised.
  2. Beef tapeworm is often found in countries where raw or semi-raw beef is consumed. As a rule, these are the countries of South America, East Africa and Eastern Europe.
  3. In regions where raw, lightly salted and smoked fish are used for food, a wide tapeworm is common. These are Russia, Japan, Scandinavia.
  4. The type of tapeworms that parasitize animals can also periodically parasitize humans.

Types of tapeworms

The following parasites belong to the class of tapeworms:

  • bovine tapeworm;
  • pork tapeworm;
  • echinococcus;
  • the tapeworm is wide;
  • dwarf tapeworm.

Bovine tapeworm

Bovine tapeworm is the largest representative of cestodes. Its dimensions can reach up to 10 meters in length. This helminth needs to change one intermediate host. Adult bovine tapeworms parasitize in the human intestine, and the larvae mature in the muscles of cattle. The helminth also possesses a hermaphroditic reproductive system containing both male and female genitals and fertilizes itself.


Bovine tapeworm causes a disease called teniarinchiasis. You can get this infection by eating beef meat that has been subjected to poor-quality heat treatment.

When the bovine tapeworm larva is swallowed, it enters the gastrointestinal tract and is localized in the small intestine. After three months, the larva becomes an adult, ready to mate and to lay eggs. Bovine tapeworm can live in the human body for up to 10 or even 20 years.

Tapeworms in humans cause the following symptoms:

  • nausea and vomiting;
  • dizziness;
  • constipation;
  • nervous disorders.

Symptoms of teniarhynchiasis can be confused with cholecystitis, pancreatitis, or appendicitis. For the treatment of bovine tapeworm, Btionol preparations are used in combination with Fenasal. Preventive measures include high-quality heat treatment of beef meat

Wide tapeworm

The broad tapeworm is rightfully considered the largest representative of the tapeworm class. The largest tapeworms reach up to 25 meters in length. The structure of the tapeworm is almost identical with other representatives of the cestodes.


This parasitic worm causes diphyllobothriasis disease. You can become infected with this disease if you eat raw, dried or smoked fish. One stage of the life cycle of a given parasite must take place in water. Once in the water, the eggs of the tapeworm transform into larvae (coracidia). In order for the larva to fully mature, it must get to the intermediate host, which is the cyclops crustacean. In turn, freshwater fish (perch, pike or omul) feed on this type of crustaceans. Then this fish gets on the table of the person who eats it. When it enters the human intestine, the parasite can cause the following symptoms:

  • fever;
  • stomach ache;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • headaches and dizziness;
  • general weakness;
  • violation of the stool in the idea of ​​diarrhea and constipation.

For the treatment of diphyllobothriasis, the following pharmacological drugs are used:

  • fenasal;
  • praziquantel or preparations based on this active substance.

Prevention of a wide tapeworm consists in high-quality heat treatment of freshwater fish.

Pork tapeworm

Pork tapeworm, in contrast to bovine tapeworm, has a perfect suction drug. Its scolex, the so-called head, has powerful hooks and suction cups. This parasite causes the disease teniasis, which can be contracted by eating pork that has not undergone high-quality heat treatment.

The life span of a pork tapeworm is 20 years. The symptomatology of this disease corresponds to teniarinchiasis, which provokes bovine tapeworm and is manifested by intestinal dyspeptic disorders.


However, pork tapeworm causes another disease - cysticercosis. In this case, the clinic is slightly different. With cysticercosis, the larvae of the pork tapeworm do not parasitize in the intestine, but migrate to other organs and systems. They are localized in the brain, heart, lungs, and muscle tissues. Therefore, the symptoms of this disease are manifested by muscle pain, general weakness and convulsive seizures. It is very difficult to treat cysticercosis.

When treating teniasis, use:

  • Niclosamide;
  • Praziquantel.

With cysticercosis, the following drugs are prescribed:

  • Praziquantel;
  • Albendazole.

In some cases, for cysticercosis, surgical methods of treatment are used, since there are indications for surgical intervention. Prevention of pork tapeworm also provides for high-quality heat treatment of pork meat and control over the quality of meat products that are sold.

Dwarf tapeworm

The dwarf tapeworm has the same structure as all tapeworms: a scolex (head) with attachment organs and a body, divided into many segments. However, its size is in many ways inferior to its counterparts, it is only 5 cm in length.

This parasite provokes a very serious disease called hymenolepiasis. You can become infected with a dwarf tapeworm through the use of common household items, unwashed vegetables and fruits, raw water and through dirty hands.

The disease is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • upset stool;
  • stomach ache;
  • loss of appetite;
  • weight loss.

In the treatment of heminolepiasis, the drug Fenasal is used.


This parasite causes a very complex and dangerous disease - echinococcosis. Echinococci have a complex system of suction apparatus: four heavy-duty suction cups are surrounded by a crown of two rows of hooks. Such a device allows echinococcal cysts to firmly fix and even grow into certain organs. Larval forms develop inside the echinococcal cyst, which has a very complex structure.


Echinococcosis has four stages of development:

  1. Latent stage.
  2. Stage of mild symptoms.
  3. Stage of pronounced symptoms.
  4. Complications stage.

The symptomatology of this disease depends on the organ in which the echinococcal cysts are located. Most often, cysts form in the liver, so the manifestations will be similar to those of liver disease. Also, echinococcal cysts form in the lungs, less often in the brain. In this case, the symptoms correspond to the symptoms of pulmonary pathologies and pathologies of the brain.

Treatment of echinococcosis is carried out only by surgery. The capsule is excised very quickly, since there is a risk of rupture at any moment. After rupture, the contents of the cyst will spread throughout the body, which can be fatal. Surgical intervention is due to the lack of effective methods in the fight against echinococcus.

Prevention of the disease involves maintaining personal hygiene, proper care and maintenance of dogs. Stray dogs are subject to capture and deworming.

What diseases do tapeworms cause?

Diagnosis and treatment of tapeworms

Diagnosis of helminthiasis caused by tapeworms is carried out on the basis of an analysis of feces (scatological examination). In order for the analysis to show a reliable result, it is necessary to correctly collect the feces. It is collected with a disposable clean spoon in a clean container no later than one hour after bowel movement. It is best to collect fresh, still warm stool.

Scatological examination can only determine the presence of a tapeworm in the stool, but cannot identify it. To determine the type of tapeworm, they resort to serological tests, namely the ELISA test. This study determines not only the type of tapeworms, but also their number in the body.


Treatment of tapeworms is carried out according to a certain scheme:

  • antihelminthic drugs;
  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • antiepileptic drugs;
  • antihistamines;
  • enzymes, sorbents, hepatoprotectors;
  • surgical methods to remove echinococcal cysts.

Anthelmintic drugs are selected for each type of tapeworm. Also, the treatment is carried out according to an individual scheme specifically for each patient. You cannot choose an anthelmintic agent yourself, it can be dangerous to health and life.

Universal drugs that effectively affect all tapeworms are:

  • Fenasal;
  • Albendazole;
  • Niclosamide;
  • Praziquantel.

When the tapeworm exits along with the feces, make sure that the parasite exits with the head. Since the head of the cestodes remaining in the tissues is capable of overgrowing with new segments.

Treatment should be supported by a special diet and additional medications that will help the body recover quickly: vitamins, enzymes and trace elements.

How to remove tapeworm from the body

Traditional medicine recipes can be very effective in controlling tapeworms.

Recipe number 1. Peel and grind 300 g of pumpkin seeds. Into the resulting mixture, gently add 10–25 drops of water, you should get about 50–60 ml. Also, sugar, honey or jam are added to the resulting mass. The mixture is eaten on an empty stomach all at once within one hour. Three hours after taking the mixture, you must make a cleansing enema.


Recipe number 2. Grind green walnuts, then pour a glass of hot salted water over them. Infuse the mixture for half an hour, then strain. Take the infusion during the day along with a laxative.

Recipe number 3. Take 30 grams of peppermint, buckthorn bark, tansy flowers, wormwood, valerian roots. All components are mixed and poured with a glass of boiling water. Insist for half an hour, then filter the infusion. The course of treatment is three days. Take a glass 2 times a day.

Recipe number 4. Grind 200 grams of pumpkin seeds. Then mix with the garlic broth. Garlic broth is prepared as follows: 2 tablespoons of garlic are boiled in a glass of milk. The broth is consumed one hour after taking crushed pumpkin seeds. Half an hour after taking the broth, you should do an enema or take a laxative.

Recipe number 5. Take 8-10 cloves of garlic, pass through a meat grinder, then add 1 glass of warm boiled water. The resulting solution can be taken orally, as well as enemas based on it.

Prevention of tapeworms

In order to prevent infection with tapeworms, certain rules should be followed:

  1. Do not eat raw and semi-raw meat of the following animals: cows, pigs, rabbits, goats, lamb. Since the larval forms of tapeworms are localized in the muscles of cattle and small livestock, during the preparation of large pieces of meat, the temperature inside the piece should reach more than 60 ° C. The minced meat must be cooked at an internal temperature of 71 ° C.
  2. Do not eat raw, salted or smoked fish. In some tapeworms, freshwater fish is the second intermediate host.
  3. Chickens also have tapeworms, but now birds live mainly on farms, and their life cycle requires an intermediate host - a beetle or earthworm.
  4. When freezing meat and fish, the temperature must be at least -10 ° C for 2 days.
  5. Thorough washing of vegetables, herbs and fruits is recommended. After washing, pour over vegetables and fruits with boiling water.
  6. Frequent and thorough hand washing, especially after using the toilet, before eating and preparing food.
  7. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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