Intermediate host: pig, man.
Prevalence & Distribution: It is common in Asia, Philippines, Africa, Mexico, Eastern Europe, India, China, Latin America and relatively rare in North America and in Arab countries where the onsumpion of pork is strictly prohibited. Infection is common in rural areas and in developing countries with poor hygine.
Mode of infection: Pork tapeworm enters the body when man eats undercooked pork, which is infected with the larvae.
Cysticercosis: This is caused by the ingestion of the pork worm larvae (bladder worms)in the stomach. The larvae enters the stomach through fecal contaminated food and water. Vomiting results in the bringing the eggs to the stomach and then when they pass go to the intestine the worms hatch out from the eggs and migrate to different areas such as the spinal cord, liver, brain (neurocysticercosis), heart, eyes, skeletal muscles and cause damage. Sometimes the larvae form a hard protective covering called the cyst (cysticerci) and migrate to various parts of the body.
Symptoms: Usually it is asymptomatic.There is mild inflamation at the attachment site. Segments of the worm are seen in the feces. Mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea or abdominal pain are experienced.
In neurocysticercosis, the cysticerci are found in the central nervous system and can cause neurological problems.