Tapeworm infection is brought on by consuming food or water polluted with tapeworm eggs or larvae. They can move outdoors your intestinal tracts and also develop larval cysts in body cells as well as body organs (intrusive infection)if you consume particular tapeworm eggs. If you consume tapeworm larvae, nevertheless, they turn into grown-up tapeworms in your intestinal tracts (digestive tract infection).

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A grown-up tapeworm includes a head, neck as well as chain of sectors called proglottids. When you have a digestive tapeworm infection, the tapeworm head abides by the digestive wall surface, and also the proglottids expand and also generate eggs. Grown-up tapeworms can live for as much as thirty years in a host.

Intestinal tract tapeworm infections are generally light, with just one or more grown-up tapeworms. Yet intrusive larval infections can create major problems.


Many individuals with digestive tapeworm infection put on"t have signs and symptoms. Your signs will certainly depend on the kind of tapeworm you have and also its place if you do have issues from the infection. Intrusive tapeworm infection signs differ relying on where the larvae have actually moved.

Intestinal tract infection

Symptoms and signs of digestive tract infection consist of:

NauseaWeaknessLoss of appetiteAbdominal painDiarrheaDizzinessSalt cravingWeight loss as well as insufficient absorption of nutrients from food

Intrusive infection

If tapeworm larvae have actually moved out of your intestinal tracts as well as created cysts in various other cells, they can ultimately create body organ as well as cells damages, causing:

HeadachesCystic masses or lumpsAllergic responses to the larvaeNeurological symptoms and signs, consisting of seizures

When to see a physician

Look for clinical interest if you experience any of the indicators or signs and symptoms of tapeworm infection.

Ask for a Consultation at Mayo Facility


A tapeworm infection begins after intake of tapeworm eggs or larvae.

Intake of eggs. You consume tiny tapeworm eggs if you consume food or beverage water polluted with feces from an individual or pet with tapeworm. As an example, a canine contaminated with a tapeworm will certainly pass tapeworm eggs in its feces, which enter the dirt.

It comes to be polluted if this exact same dirt comes in call with a food or water resource. When you consume alcohol or consume something from the polluted resource, you can then be contaminated.

As soon as inside your intestinal tracts, the eggs turn into larvae. At this phase, the larvae come to be mobile. They create a cyst in the liver or various other cells if they move out of your intestinal tracts.

Consumption of larvae cysts in meat or muscle mass cells. When a pet has a tapeworm infection, it has tapeworm larvae in its muscle mass cells. If you consume undercooked or raw meat from a contaminated pet, you consume the larvae, which then turn into grown-up tapeworms in your intestinal tracts.

Grown-up tapeworms can gauge greater than 80 feet (25 meters) long as well as can endure as long as thirty years in a host. Some tapeworms affix themselves to the wall surfaces of the intestinal tracts, where they trigger inflammation or light swelling, while others might go through to your feces and also leave your body.

Danger elements

Aspects that might place you at better danger of tapeworm infection consist of:

Poor health. Irregular cleaning and also showering raises the danger of unexpected transfer of polluted issue to your mouth. Direct exposure to animals. This is particularly troublesome in locations where human and also animal feces are not dealt with appropriately. Taking a trip to creating nations. Infection takes place a lot more often in locations with inadequate cleanliness techniques. Consuming undercooked or raw meats. Inappropriate food preparation might stop working to eliminate tapeworm eggs and also larvae included in infected pork or beef. Residing in native locations. In particular components of the globe, direct exposure to tapeworm eggs is most likely. For example, your threat of entering call with eggs of the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) is better in locations of Latin America, China, sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia where free-range pigs might be much more typical.


Digestive tapeworm infections normally put on"t reason difficulties. If issues do take place, they might consist of:

Digestive system clog. If tapeworms expand huge sufficient, they can obstruct your appendix, resulting in infection (appendicitis); your bile air ducts, which bring bile from your liver as well as gallbladder to your intestinal tract; or your pancreatic air duct, which brings gastrointestinal liquids from your pancreatic to your intestinal tract. Mind as well as main nerves problems. Called neurocysticercosis (noor-o-sis-tih-sur-KOE-sis), this specifically unsafe problem of intrusive pork tapeworm infection can cause migraines as well as aesthetic disability, in addition to seizures, hydrocephalus, mental deterioration or meningitis. Fatality can take place in extreme instances of infection.

Body organ feature disturbance. They come to be cysts when larvae move to the liver, lungs or various other body organs. Gradually, these cysts expand, in some cases huge sufficient to crowd the working components of the body organ or decrease its blood supply. Tapeworm cysts occasionally fracture, launching even more larvae, which can relocate to various other body organs as well as create added cysts.

A fractured or dripping cyst can create an allergy-like response, with itching, hives, swelling and also problem breathing. Surgical treatment or body organ transplant might be required in extreme situations.


To avoid tapeworm infection:

Clean your hands with soap as well as water prior to dealing with or consuming food as well as after making use of the bathroom. When taking a trip in locations where tapeworm is a lot more typical, laundry and also prepare all vegetables and fruits with secure water prior to consuming. Be certain to steam it for at the very least a min and also then allow it cool down off prior to utilizing it if water could not be secure. Get rid of animals direct exposure to tapeworm eggs by correctly dealing with pet and also human feces. Extensively chef meat at temperature levels of a minimum of 145 F (63 C) to eliminate tapeworm eggs or larvae. Freeze meat for as lengthy as 7 to 10 days as well as fish for at the very least 24 hr in a fridge freezer with a temperature level of -31 F (-35 C) to eliminate tapeworm eggs and also larvae. Stay clear of consuming undercooked or raw beef, fish as well as pork. Without delay deal with pet dogs contaminated with tapeworm.

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