Tapeworm Infections - Beef tapeworm

Beef tapeworm

Definitive host: Humans

Intermediate host: cow. The larvae and the cysticerci are found in the bladder muscles of these animals.

Prevalence & Distribution: It is endemic in many countries (Africa, US, Latin America, Mexico, Europe, Philippines). The proglottids that encase the eggs have the ability to move out from the intestine through the anus and cause infections.

Mode of infection: Proglottids that have the eggs in them are excreted along with the fecal matter. Contamination of the cattle feed by this human fecal matter results in ingestion of the eggs by the cattle. Then the eggs hatch in the intestine of the cattle and travel through the blood to various organs and muscle tissue. The larvae are called as cysticerci, which can cause infection in man. When man consumes improperly cooked meat (beef), which harbors the cyst, and then it results in tapeworm infection in man.

Symptoms: Proglottids pass through the anus resulting in vauge gastrointestinal pain and other gastrointestinal symptoms.