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Tape Worms

  • Date Submitted: 10/07/2012 05:07 PM
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Tapeworms
Rebecca Root
May 21, 2012
Module 2 – Lecture
Brookline College









Tapeworm infection is caused by ingesting food or water contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. If you ingest certain tapeworm eggs, they can migrate outside your intestines and form larval cysts in body tissues and organs (invasive infection). If you ingest tapeworm larvae, however, they develop into adult tapeworms in your intestines (intestinal infection).
An adult tapeworm consists of a head, neck and chain of segments called proglottids. When you have an intestinal tapeworm infection, the tapeworm head adheres to the intestine wall, and the proglottids grow and produce eggs. Adult tapeworms can live for up to 20 years in a host. Intestinal tapeworm infections are usually mild, but invasive larval infections can cause serious complications.
Eating undercooked meat from infected animals is the main cause of tapeworm infection in humans. Although tapeworms in humans usually cause few symptoms and are easily treated, they can sometimes cause serious, life-threatening problems. That's why it's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of tapeworms and know how to protect yourself and your family.
Six types of tapeworms are known to infect people. They are usually identified by the animals they come from. For example: Taenia saginata from beef, Taenia solium from pork, and Diphyllobothrium latum from fish. Tapeworms have a three-stage lifecycle: egg; an immature stage called a larva; and an adult stage at which the worm can produce more eggs because larvae can get into the muscles of their hosts, infection can occur when you eat raw or undercooked meat from an infected animal. It is also possible to contract pork tapeworms from foods prepared by an infected person. Because tapeworm eggs are passed with bowel movements, a person who doesn't wash hands well after wiping and then prepares food can contaminate the food.
Sometimes tapeworms cause signs and...

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