Taenia saginata

Background

  • Also known as the beef tapeworm
  • Humans are the only known definitive host, cattle are intermediate hosts

Transmission

  • Transmitted by ingesting undercooked beef containing the tapeworm larvae
  • Larvae mature in the human intestines and the mature tapeworm attaches to the intestinal walls to ingest nutrients from the host
  • Mature tapeworms release gravid proglottids in the stool which release eggs into the stool, which can remain active in sewage for several weeks

Clinical Features

  • Often asymptommatic

Symptoms are more severe in those with immature or compromised immune systems

Differential Diagnosis

Helminth infections

Cestodes (Tapeworms)

Trematodes (Flukes)

Nematodes (Roundworms)

Evaluation

  • Stool studies to detect ova and proglottids
  • CBC may show eosinophilia
  • CT/MRI/LP if concern for neurocysticercosis

Management

  • Praziquantel - single dose of 5-10mg/kg
  • Albendazole
  • May give both albendazole and praziquantel for severe infections

Disposition

See Also

References