Tapeworm - Definition

March 2017


Definition


The tapeworm, or cestoda, is a parasitic worm that grows in the intestines. In most cases, it is caused by eating food contaminated with taenia saginata, in the case of infected beef, or can also be caused by a taenia solium infection of pork meat. An adult taenia saginata resembles a ribbon making up 500 to 2000 rings and hooks on its head with which it attaches to the infected individual's stomach lining. It can grow to between 4 and 10 meters long, and causes weight loss even with normal, or excessive, food intake, as well as digestive disorders. The rings of the worm can be found in the feces of an infected person and in their undergarments. Individualized treatment can kill the worm and let it be ejected from the body.

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