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Cestodes. Gregory L. Brower, D.V.M., Ph.D. Cell Biology and Anatomy School of Medicine Columbia, South Carolina. Cestodes (Tape Worms). Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) - Cysticercus Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) Diphyllobothrium latum (fish tapeworm)

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Gregory L. Brower, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Cell Biology and Anatomy

School of Medicine

Columbia, South Carolina

cestodes tape worms
Cestodes (Tape Worms)
  • Taeniasolium(pork tapeworm) - Cysticercus
  • Taeniasaginata(beef tapeworm)
  • Diphyllobothriumlatum (fish tapeworm)
  • Echinococcusgranulosus (unilocularhydatid)
  • Echinococcusmultilocularis (alveolar hydatid)
  • Hymenolepis nana (dwarf tapeworm)
  • Hymenolepisdiminutia
  • Dipylidiumcaninum
general structure of tapeworm
General Structure of Tapeworm
  • Head region (scolex) : contains suckers and hooks used to attach to a host organism.
  • Proglottids : square body segments used for reproduction.
tapeworm structure
Tapeworm Structure
  • Scolex - Attachment organ
  • Zone of Proliferation - Undifferentiated area behind the scolex (neck region)
  • Strobilia - Chain of segments (proglottids)
    • Immature proglottids - developing reproductive
    • Mature proglottids: mature reproductive organs.
    • Gravid proglottids: contain eggs in the uterus.
immature segment
Immature Segment

note that the reproductive organs are just beginning to differentiate.

  • (Carmine stained)

Developing reproductive organs

mature segments proglottids
Mature Segments (Proglottids)

Tapeworms are Hermaphroditic

taeniasis geographic distribution
Taeniasis:Geographic Distribution
  • Worldwide, depending on dietary habits, and quality of cattle and pork farming.
taenia solium pork tapeworm morphology
Taenia solium (Pork Tapeworm)Morphology

Adult Worm:

2-4 m long,





Immature segment

Mature segment

Gravid segment

cysticercus cellulosae
Cysticercus cellulosae

It is soybean-like in shape, with the small scolex invaginated into the translucent cyst (left).

The scolex evaginated from the cyst (right).

Cysticercius cellulosae

taenia eggs
Taenia eggs

The eggs of Taenia saginata and T. Solium are morphologically indistinguishable.

taeniasis symptoms

Abdominal discomfort, epigastric pain, vomiting

Physical presence of the worm





Other organs (cysticercosis)

Cyst formation in brain, eye, lung and liver may cause related symptoms

Physical mass and inflammation

taeniasis d iagnosis


History of eating undercooked beef or pork

Recovery of proglottids and/or eggs in the stool

cysticercosis diagnosis
  • CNS and/or symptoms involving other organs
  • History of ingesting food with T.soliumeggs
  • Radiographic localization of cysticercal lesions in tissues
cysticercosis disease

Cerebral cysticercosis

cysticercosis disease22

Cardiac cysticercosis

Ocular cysticercosis

taeniasis t reatment and prevention
Taeniasis:Treatment and Prevention


  • Praziquantel; scolex expulsion is essential


  • Adequate cooking of meat
  • Freezing meat below 10º C
fish tapeworm diphyllobothrium latum
Fish TapewormDiphyllobothriumlatum

Distributed worldwide: freshwater (great lakes)

diphyllobothriasis symptoms





abdominal discomfort, rarely severe cramping pain, diarrhea alternated by constipation, vomiting

related to worm burden

weight loss, vitamin B-12 deficiency

physical mass and inflammation


diphyllobothriasis diagnosis
  • symptoms
  • history of eating raw fish
  • recovery of proglottids and/or eggs in the stool
diphyllobothriasis treatment
  • Praziquantel is the drug of choice
  • Avoid uncooked fish from infested waters
  • Freezing for 24 hours and pickling kills the tape
hymenolepis nana dwarf worm symptoms
Hymenolepis nana (Dwarf Worm)Symptoms
  • Lighter infections: mild abdominal disturbance
  • Heavier infections: enteritis
hymenolepis nana dwarf worm diagnosis treatment and control
Hymenolepis nana (Dwarf Worm)Diagnosis, Treatment And Control


rodent infestation

ova in the feces

Treatment and Control

Praziquantel is the drug of choice

rodent population control

echinococcus granulosus hydatid case history
Echinococcusgranulosus(hydatid)Case History
  • 32-year-old Kenyan woman presented in Boston with a 3-month history of cough that was initially productive of thick, gray sputum that had gradually become blood-tinged. She had low-grade fevers. Chest radiography revealed an apparent elevation of the right hemidiaphragm. CT scan the chest with contrast medium revealed a low-density cystic mass measuring 13 by 13 by 10 cm in the right lower hemithora.
echinococcus granulosus hydatid case history37
Echinococcusgranulosus(hydatid)Case History
  • Ultrasound-guided aspiration of the contents of the cyst yielded clear, colorless fluid containing a protoscolex of Echinococcusgranulosus. Three days later, cystectomy was performed, with the use of specific precautions to prevent local spread of disease. After adequate antiparasitic treatment, follow-up radiography demonstrated reexpansion of the right lung. The patient has returned to her normal level of activity, and there is no evidence of recurrent disease.
echinococcus granulosus life cycle40
Echinococcus granulosus:Life Cycle


echinococcus granulosus symptoms

abdominal distension, ascitis

progressively growing cyst





growing cyst


obstructive jaundice

pulmonary abscess, cough, chest pain

growing cyst


Jacksonian epilepsy

growing cyst


Type-I hypersensitivity

Fever, pruritus, urticaria, anaphylactoid reactions

Echinococcus granulosus:Symptoms
echinococcus granulosus diagnosis
Echinococcus granulosus:Diagnosis
  • Endemicity
  • Symptoms
  • X-ray and CT scan
  • Serology
  • Skin (Casoni) test
echinococcus granulosus treatment and control
Echinococcusgranulosus: Treatment and Control
  • Surgical removal of the cyst
  • Praziquantel
  • Avoidance or treatment of infected canine
echinococcus multilocularis
Echinococcus multilocularis
  • Similar to E. granulosus, except:
  • Secondary hosts and reservoir are rodents.
  • The egg produces multilocular cysts.
  • The cestode is more resistant to chemotherapy.
echinococcus multilocularis treatment and control
Echinococcusmultilocularis: Treatment and Control
  • Surgical removal of the cyst
  • Resistant to praziquantel; Albendazole has some effect
  • Avoidance control of rodent population