Pigs are a crucial part of the tapeworm life cycle

A teenager in India who had been infected with tapeworms died as a result of numerous cysts—formed by the tapeworms—in his brain (he had them throughout his body as well), which doctors only found when he showed up at the emergency room in Faridabad with generalized tonic-clonic seizures. These full-brain seizures, plus his groin pain, eye swelling, and general confusion are fairly common symptoms for bodily infection with tapeworms.


My 83 year old mother who complained of groin pain a year before she died of liver cancer had pulled a worm out of her anus few months before she died.


These parasites must all use nutrients from the host to multiply and survive. They are found in the digestive tract, the kidneys, liver, lungs or the blood stream.

In the sow, the important parasites are the large white worms ascarids (Ascaris suum), red stomach worms (Hyostrongylus rubidus) and whip worms (Trichuris suis).

The sow becomes the source of potential infection to piglets. The threadworm (Strongyloides ransomi) is important in the piglet. The life cycles of all are direct from eggs in faeces to adult in the intestine.

Internal parasites are an uncommon problem in the weaned, growing and finisher pig unless they are housed in continuously occupied straw based or bare concrete pens in which case ascarids may become a problem.

There are four groups of endoparasitic worms: nematodes (roundworms); thorny-headed worms; tapeworms and protozoa:


Trichinosis (trik-ih-NO-sis), sometimes called trichinellosis (trik-ih-nuh-LOW-sis), is a type of roundworm infection. Roundworm parasites use a host body to live and reproduce. Infection occurs primarily among meat-eating animals (carnivores) such as bears and foxes, or meat- and plant-eating animals (omnivores) such as domestic pigs and wild boar. The infection is acquired by eating roundworm larvae in raw or undercooked meat.

When humans eat undercooked meat containing trichinella larvae, the larvae mature into adult worms in the intestine over several weeks. The adult worms then produce larvae that travel through various tissues, including muscle. Trichinosis is most widespread in rural areas throughout the world.

Trichinosis can be treated with medication, though it’s not always necessary. It’s also easy to prevent.

Symptoms

Abdominal symptoms can occur one to two days after infection. Other symptoms usually start two to eight weeks after infection. The severity of symptoms usually depends on the number of larvae consumed in the infected meat.

Possibly no signs or symptoms

Mild cases of trichinosis — those with only a small number of parasites in your body — may cause no recognizable signs or symptoms. Symptoms can develop with moderate or heavy infestation, sometimes progressing as the parasite travels through your body.

Initial signs and symptoms

You swallow trichinella larvae encased in a cyst. Your digestive juices dissolve the cyst, releasing the parasite into your body. The larvae then penetrate the wall of the small intestine, where they mature into adult worms and mate. At this stage, you may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

Later signs and symptoms

About a week after infection, the adult female worms produce larvae that go through the intestinal wall, enter your bloodstream, and eventually burrow into muscle or other tissue. This tissue invasion can cause:

  • High fever
  • Muscle pain and tenderness
  • Swelling of the eyelids or face
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

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