Taenia solium infection

Introduction

Pork taeniasis is a disease caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium 

– it is particularly common in South and Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe

T solium inhabits the human jejunum 

-it possesses a rostellum armed with sucking disks and two rows of hooklets

-It can cause two distinct forms of infection in humans: adult tapeworms in the intestine (Taeniasis) or larval forms in the tissues (cysticercosis). 

-Taeniasis is acquired by eating raw or undercooked pork. Cysticercosis is acquired only by ingesting eggs in fecally contaminated food or water.

-Significant difference from beef tapeworm: Tissue cysticerci develop in swine and humans

Symptoms & Signs 

Taeniasis: Tapeworm in gut causes little damage. 

Cysticercosis: Cysticerci encyst in various human tissues, including skin, liver, muscle, heart, kidney,eye and brain 

Neurocysticercosis: fever, nausea, vomiting,headache, mental disturbances,  focal neurologic abnormalities, personality changes, visual disturbances, seizures, increased intracranial pressure, and hydrocephalus  

Diagnosis 

Adult worm is diagnosed from proglottids or eggs in stool 

Cysticercosis is diagnosed by imaging, biopsy, or serology 

Neuroimaging: Mass lesions; a scolex within a cystic lesion 

Treatment 

Intestinal worms: Praziquantel 

Cerebral cysticercosis: Praziquantel, albendazole,antiseizure medications 

Obstructive hydrocephalus: removal of the cysticercus via endoscopic surgery 

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