A comprehensive overview of tapeworm covering subjects like cure, treatment, symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
Tapeworm removal is done under medical supervision. The tapeworm prophylaxis is divided in two parts general and individual, depending on the disease that resulted from the infestation.
Knowing that the only source of infestation are the people who spread in the environment adult proglottids that contain eggs, one of the principal means of general prevention is to detect and treat all contaminated patients.
Since contamination usually occurs in animals ingesting proglottids with grass, hay or water, and the ingestion of human feces. The protection of the external environment against pollution protection with human feces plays a very important role in reducing the chances of tapeworm infestation.
An important role in preventing the propagation of the tapeworm is the good conditions in which the cows are raised but also a rigorous sanitary control of the place and tools used to slaughter the cattle. Individual prophylaxis consists of eating only the meat previously controlled (a veterinary health test is done) and a thorough culinary processing of meat products.
It is considered that the larvae of Taenia saginata and Taenia solium that live in the meet are destroyed when, after cooking, it gets a gray color in the section (beef) or white (pork), and the juice dripping from it does not contain blood.
Tapeworm removal treatment is administered orally in a single dose. The drug of choice is the niclosamid. It is taken on an empty stomach and should be chewed slowly for it to have the desired effect. The efficient dose is 2 grams.
Other useful drugs are: praziquantel (are given 5-10 mg / kg in one dose) and albendazole.
The efficiency of the treatment is estimated by the degree of tapeworm removal (mainly the scolex - which is set deep in the intestinal mucosa and which restores the entire tapeworm).
The tapeworm infection due to Taenia solium is treated with praziquantel. It is also efficient in the tapeworm removal treatment for the infection with Taenia saginata. The administration of this drug has the risk of provoking an inflammatory response of the central nervous system in case of presence of another disease, also caused by the Taenia virus, named cysticercosis.
Cysticercosis treatment may involve chemotherapy, surgery and drug treatment support. Asymptomatic patients with calcified lesions in the nerve or in soft tissue generally do not require any treatment. In case of patients that present symptoms of neurocysticercosis both drugs are effective: praziquantel (50 mg / kg per day in three doses for 15 days) and albendazole (15 mg / kg per day in three doses for 8-28 days). Since both substances cause inflammatory responses around the formations they destroy, patients receiving these drugs should be hospitalized, being administrated drugs depending on the level of glucocorticoids during tapeworm removal treatment.
Efficacy can be monitored by radiological imaging methods, is expected to reduce the size of active lesions within 3-6 months. In case of eye and spinal infestation the inflammation induced by drugs can produce an irreversible impairment. Therefore, these lesions, like those in the ventricles, are best treated by surgical resection. Ventricular obstruction may require ventricular-peritoneal shunting. Not all neurological deficits resolve after treatment, some patients may require continuous treatment against convulsions.
Cysticercosis prevention consists of minimizing the chances of ingesting taenia eggs containe in feces and through a good personal hygiene, improved storage conditions and treatment and prophylaxis feces of human intestinal infections. Preventive measures for the pig's infection with intestinal Taenia solium consist of the same means applied to people.