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 Specific research studies Intestinal parasitology
The head of the beef tapeworm Taenia saginata. Courtesy: Science Photo Library/Custom Medical Stock Photo.
A Toenia saginata nidus found in Dak Mon commune, Dak Glei district, Kon Tum Province

Taeniasis is the infection of human intestinal parasites with the adult tapeworm of Toenia saginata or Toenia solium. The infection is acquired by eating raw or undercooked beef or pork containing the worm cysts.

The adult tapeworms reside in the first part of the small intestine. Tapeworms are segmented, with each segment capable of producing eggs (about 31 -38 mm in diameter). The eggs contained in the gravid proglottids are released with the feces and can survive for days to months in the environment. Cattle become infected by ingesting vegetation contaminated with eggs or gravid proglottids. In the animal's intestine, the eggs develop into cysticerci (Cysticercus boris) which is able to be pathogenic after 4 months of development.

Beef before and after

chopped fine to eat raw.

When pigs ingest tapeworm eggs, the eggs develop into cysticercus in the muscles of the host. The cysticercus is 0.7 to 0.8 cm in diameter and 1.5 cm in length. When man eats raw beef or pork meat containing the worm cysticercus, the cysticercus develops into an adult tapeworm in the intestine. The length of adult worms ranges from 8 to 12 metres.

On April, 2009, the Parasitology Department of IMPE Quy Nhon studied and detected a Toenia saginata nidus in Dak Mon commune, Dak Glei district, Kon Tum Province. The stools examination results showed that 72 out of 461 people were infected with Toenia saginata, accounting for 15.61%.

An 8 metres-long beef tapeworm taken from the

stool of a patient treated in Dak Mon commune.

The infection of Toenia saginata in this area is due to the habit of eating raw beef. The population here is mainly from the De ethnic group who usually like chopping beef into small bits, squeezing lemon juice and eating with citronella and wine. This habit has existed for a long time because local people think raw meat is tasty and nutritious, thus providing favourable conditions for Toenia saginata infection. The species identification of the tapeworm's form ended up with Toenia saginata, and preventive measures will be carried out for the sake of people's health in this area in the coming time.

 

 Life cycle of Toenia saginata. (Courtesy: CDC)

 

05/18/2009
Nguyen Van Chuong  

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