Infections due to Helminths

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Infections due to Helminths (parasitic worms)

Helminthiasis (worm infestation) most frequently affects the intestines. Higher prevalence when sanitation is poor. Treatment is not always indicated.

Schistosomiasis (Trematode/fluke infection):
• important cause of morbidity in tropics – spread mostly by irrigation schemes
• 5 species affect humans
• starts with itching at site for 1-2 days. 3-5 weeks later  allergic manifestations

Cestode/Tapeworm infections:
• ribbon shaped worms in intestinal tract – they have no alimentary tract so need to absorb nutrients
• 3 species affect humans
• humans usually get infected from undercooked meat or fish that contain the larvae
• drug - praziquantel

Hydatid disease:
Caused by ingestion of eggs of a dog parasite (Echinococcus granulosus)
Present with large cyst on lungs or in liver
Treatment – excision of cyst

Nematode/Roundworm infections:
• most asymptomatic; two types of infection – intestinal and extraintestinal
• 3 types
• intestinal nematodes
• tissue dwelling human nematodes
• zoonotic nematodes
• pork roundworm  trichinosis
• drugs – mebendazole, pyrantel, ivermectin


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