Diphyllobothriasis (Fish Tapeworm Infection)

Diphyllobothriasis is an infection with the intestinal tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium latum, a parasite of freshwater fish. Treatment is with praziquantel.

(See also Overview of tapeworm infections.)

Diphyllobothriasis is an infection with the intestinal tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium latum, a parasite of freshwater fish. Treatment is with praziquantel. (See also Overview of tapeworm infections.) D. latum is the longest parasite of people (up to 10 m length). D. latum and cestodes that cause Sparganosis, are the only human tapeworms with aquatic life cycle. In fresh water, free-swimming larvae that are ingested by small crustaceans hatch from eggs of D. latum that come from human feces. The small shellfish are ingested by fish, in which the larvae are infectious. Diphyllobothriasis occurs worldwide, especially when cold lakes are contaminated by sewage. Infections in the US and Europe occur in people who eat raw freshwater fish. In a modern wastewater treatment, the infection rarely occurs. Infection is usually asymptomatic, but mild gastrointestinal symptoms may occur. Fish tapeworms absorb from food vitamin B12, which sometimes leads to a vitamin B12 deficiency and megaloblastic anemia. The diagnosis of diphyllobothriasis is provided by detecting the characteristic operkulierten eggs or broad proglottids in the stool. For diagnosis of anemia, a blood count is created. Sometimes therapy praziquantel niclosamide (outside the US) The therapy of diphyllobothriasis is carried out with a single dose of praziquantel 5-10 mg / kg. Alternatively, a single dose (2 g) niclosamide (not available in the US) are given in the form of 4 tablets of 500 mg, to be chewed together and swallowed. For children, the dose is 50 mg / kg (maximum 2 g) is unique. Vitamin B12 may be necessary to substitute a megaloblastic anemia. Good thorough cooking of freshwater fish or freezing at the recommended temperatures can kill fish tapeworm. For freezing, the following recommendations are: freezing at -20 ° C (-4 ° F) or below for 7 days (total time) freezing at -35 ° C (-31 ° F) or below until solid state and stored at – 35 ° C (-31 ° F) or below (-31 ° F) for 15 h freezing at -35 ° C or lower to a solid state and stored at -20 ° C (-4 ° F) or below for 24 h

Health Life Media Team

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