Saturday, June 15, 2024

Taenia Infection

Background

Of the 32 recognized species of Taenia, only Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) and Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) are medically important. However, recent epidemiologic studies in Southeast Asia have identified a third Taenia species in humans, known as Taenia asiatica.
Taeniasis is an infection due to an adult tapeworm in the intestine. Humans acquire taeniasis from ingestion of undercooked pork containing cysticerci. Cysticercosis is the development of extraintestinal encysted larval forms of T. solium in various organs. Humans develop cysticercosis from ingestion of T. solium egg excreted by themselves (autoinfection), or by a human tapeworm carrier which means humans can have cysticercosis even though they do not eat pork. (see Cysticercosis). The CNS is involved in 60-90% of cases; this condition is termed neurocysticercosis (NCC). For more information, see Neurocysticercosis.

Differentiating between T. solium and T. saginata infections is important because infection with T. solium can cause neurocysticercosis, which is one of the leading cause of deaths from food-borne illnesses, resulting in a total of 2.8 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Cysticercosis caused by T. saginata is rare; T. saginata has far lower impact on human health than T. solium. Both infections are endemic in Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central and South America. Infection in children usually goes unrecognized.
 WHO developed a roadmap for control and eradication of T. solium taeniasis/cysticercosis to be implemented in selected countries by 2020.

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