Biology basics tapeworms in relation to human infection

To accurately describe diseases that are caused by tapeworms, we need to realize a few facts. The first fact is that the notion of a tapeworm is a vast amount of organisms that create the wholeclass. The second fact is that the description of the disease must be familiar with the biology of these organisms, particularly their structure and life cycles. Life cycles of tapeworms are very complex, but very interesting for the reader.

From a very narrow perspective of focusing only on the interaction tapeworm-man, we can say that some kinds or more genera of tapeworms damage to man rather in adulthood (meant as an adult tapeworm, not the man) – as the best example is the tapeworm of the genus Diphyllobothrium, others attack man in itslarval stage: Taeniidae family and its two genera: genus Taenia genus and Echinoccocus.

In this text, I will try to acquaint the reader with one hand, the basic biology of tapeworms, also a species invading humans and diseases that can cause tapeworms.

Tapeworm is a whole class of organisms. This class is known professionally as Cestoda, and include flatworms (flatworms). Cestoda include over 5000 species of tapeworms, but it is not yet known number of species, and there is an assumption that this figure will increase further.

Physique tapeworm

Typical tapeworm consists of a header that says skolex, and segmented or segmented body -strobily. Skolexu are located at different tack authorities (each species has morphologically distinct, but several basic types of attachment organs can describe them). Tack bodies are adapted to a specific life strategy tapeworm, thus tapeworm living in the intestine will have these bodies adapted to be able to best capture and hold on the intestinal wall, etc.

The basic types of attachment organs include suction grooves (botrie) or circular suckers. Part tapeworms (specifically the genus Cyclophyllidea) has a sort of retractable skolexu chobotek (rostellum), which is also provided with attachment hooks for optimal tapeworm.

The body of a tapeworm or strobila is composed of individual cells, which are called proglottides.Each proglottids represents an independent reproduction unit, includes both male and female gonads, therefore tapeworm eggs can produce, even if it is in the body, only one. Tapeworms arehermaphrodites Thus, individuals possessing both male and female sexual system, and can reproduce (through the production of eggs, from which larvae hatch) alone, without the presence of another individual. Articles can be easily arranged in a row (akraspedotní articles) or one article passes its end as part of the next article (kraspedotní articles). It should add that there are tapeworms that are inarticulate – monozoické. Segmented tapeworm then known as polyzoické.

In terms of biology and medicine is an important body surface tapeworm. The surface is of vital importance in the intake of nutrients, because tapeworms do not have digestive systems such as. People because they do not have tapeworms intestine. Any intake of nutrients so happens transport across the surface of the body, which is known as the tegmentum (neodermis). Neodermis has a specific structure, which is formed by surface syncytia (soubuním – Commonwealth cells), where the bodies of the cells located below the subsurface layer of muscle. On the surface of the neodermis are microtriches (microscopic hairs coated with a sugary macromolecules – glycocalyx).

Below this surface is located subsurface muscle, which is formed circular and longitudiální muscle (oblique muscle fibers missing). Muscle is very well developed in the areas of attachment organs.

Nervescells tapeworm has its center in the form of a pair of cranial ganglia, from which extend nerve fibers that permeate strobili. Excretion and osmoregulatory system consists flame cell.

The process of tapeworm infection

One may be the ultimate hosts some species of tapeworms, may also be intermediate hosts of other species and, in rare cases, intermediate host and the definitive host of the tapeworm one species. It follows that tapeworm usually have two hosts (one intermediate host and the definitive host one: however, be taken as a stage because the intermediate host and the definitive host and often may be more types of organisms in one species of tapeworm). In man also parasitizes škulovec wide (Diphyllobothrium latum), which has a development tříhostitelský (see below).

The whole process can be described as a model example of common tapeworm: tapeworm lives in the gut of humans and releases a large quantity of eggs, to go along with the feces out of the host organism. The eggs can leave the cell isolation so. Uterinním pore (a process called anapolýza) or after the collapse of the entire article (apolýzy process). That the tapeworm reproduce using egg production gives tapeworms name oviparní organisms.

Of the eggs hatch the larva first: the group Gyrocotylidea and groups Amphilinidea first larva calledlykofora (syn .: dekakant name is derived from the fact that lykofora has ten embryonic hooks. In the group Eucestoda first larva called onkosféra (or hexakant , analogously to the presence of six embryonic hooks). Onkosféra which is surrounded by the ciliary container which enables it to move in the water, is referred to as koracidium.

The first larva invades its intermediate host in which it arises larva second or third degree (with two intermediate hosts tapeworms) called metacestod. Metacestod then according to their morphology divided into types: procerkoid, plerocerkoid, cysticerkoid and cysticerkus .. Metacestod different route then infect their definitive host. A full circle is complete, because tapeworms inside their definitive host matures and begins to produce eggs.


Risk factors tapeworm infection

consumption of undercooked meat or even raw meat consumption, poor levels of hygiene,especially before eating, after toilet etc.


Preventing disease tapeworm infection

Transferring or human infection occurs primarily via the oral route, especially the consumption of intermediate hosts, the meat is sufficiently cooked through, so a basic preventive measuressufficient heat treatment of meat from pigs, cows, fish and crabs.

Another preventive measure is mainly in the fact that parents pay attention to a reasonable level of hygiene of their children.


Description already almost sold species of tapeworms

Tapeworms that infect humans, it is more. Among the most common, and therefore described in greater detail include: naked tapeworm (Taenia saginata), Taenia Solium (Taenia solium), tapeworm children (Hymenolepis nana) and škulovec wide (Diphyllobothrium latum)


Taenióza (Taeniasis) is a disease which is caused by the tapeworm Taenia saginata and Taenia solium. For infections Taenia solium is more of a sign or cysticercosis cysticercosis.

Both these tapeworms live in the small intestine of man, whereby T.saginata reaches a length of 3-10 m and T. solium length of 2-3 meters. The classic is the intermediate host for T.saginata cattleand hog at T.solium or another person.

In the muscles of intermediate hosts, ie meat of a pig or a cow or a human creates metacestod (second stage larva) called cysticerkus. For T.saginata the cysticerkus called Cysticerkus bovis and T.solium called metacestod same as Cysticerkus cellulosae. If this is the case that the kind of tapeworm Taenia solium behaves in the human body as its intermediate hosts, it may be placed in addition to muscle metacestod also in the brain, spinal cord, lung, heart, or under the skin.

The incidence of this disease is cosmopolitan, while in the Czech Republic are reported isolated cases of infection T.saginata for T.solium cases are imported to us from abroad. Adult tapeworms develop from metacestoda contained in undercooked meat of cows or pigs or may contaminate the food tapeworm eggs.

Signs and symptoms teniózy

Most of these diseases occurs asymptomatic (no do not show), but sometimes may experience mild gastrointestinal disorders (anorexia, nausea, diarrhea).

Severe variant is when cysticerkus gets into the brain, it is called cerebral cysticercosis, which is manifested convulsions, intracranial hypertension (increased pressure in the cavity of the skull),headache, visual disturbances, and psychiatric disorders. Of the 50% of cases this variant is fatal.

diagnosis teniózy

Is performed first, microscopically, ie. finding eggs in the feces under a microscope. For infections T.solium used serological tests, as well as X-ray, ultrasound and CT.

treatment teniózy

They are used substances niclosamide or praziquantel. For T. solium infection is treatment with these drugs in combination with steroids, which inhibit the inflammatory reaction after the death of the parasite


Difylobotrioza is a disease that is caused by colon, wide (Diphyllobothrium latum) .This ill occurs primarily in large river basins (eg. Nile Delta) or the lakes and rivers of the temperate zone.

Škulovec wide is quite long tapeworm, whose length often exceeds 10 meters, and some sources suggest up to a length of 17 meters. Adult tapeworms produce eggs with a cap (so-called. Opercula) that needs to get into the water.

Of the eggs hatch koracidium that invades their first intermediate host (these are the families of copepods and Cyclopidae Diaptomidae). In buchance created procerkoid, which is an intermediate host for the infectious stage number two: fish. When the fish consume copepods, so the procerkoidu develops plerocerkoid that gathers in the muscle tissue of fish. Man, but also other carnivorous mammals are infected by ingestion of fish (mostly perch, pike, burbot etc.).

Signs and symptoms difylobotriozy

Basic disability which causes škulovec is that it absorbs large amounts of vitamin B12, which is a very important vitamin for healthy blood. Arises tzv.zhoubná (pernicious) anemia.

diagnosis difylobotriozy

Again is the microscopic finding eggs and Article colon,

treatment difylobotriozy

Niclosamide, praziquantel further. Supportive therapy is the administration of vitamin B12.


Hymenolepióza (hymenolepiasis) is a disease that is caused by Hymenolepis nana (Hymenolepis nana), a large tapeworm only 7-40 mm, which occurs primarily in children collectives.

Is performed so that two phases are tapeworms in the intestine. The disease is manifested by abdominal pain, bad breath, headaches. It occurs itching, dizziness and loss of appetite.

diagnosis hemolepiózy

Again is the microscopic finding eggs and tapeworm article.

treatment hemolepiózy

Niclosamide and praziquantel.


How can I help myself

the key is prevention, when disease is important bedrest, irrigate organism


Complications tapeworm infection

They are made specifically for each tapeworm. It is mainly the cerebral cysticercosis andpernicious anemia.

Other names: tapeworm infections, parasitosis caused by tapeworms, tenióza, Taeniasis, cysticercosis, cysticercosis, difylobotrioza

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