Trichuriasis

Introduction

Trichuriasis is caused by whipworm Trichuris trichiura, a nematode parasite of the large intestine 

-Humans acquire the infection by eating foods contaminated with eggs. In the small intestine, the larvae hatch, mature and migrate to the colon 

– Unlike Ascaris, Trichuris does not have a migratory lung phase

-The adult worm has a ‘buggy whip’ appearance, hence the name whipworm 

Symptoms & Signs 

-Most infected persons are asymptomatic

-Abdominal pain, distention, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rectal prolapse, iron-deficiency anemia

Diagnosis 

-Diagnosis is based on finding the barrel-shaped or lemon-shaped eggs with a plug at each end 

-Adult worms may be seen in the prolapsed rectum

Treatment 

Effective agents: Albendazole, mebendazole, ivermectin, and oxantel pamoate

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