Stephen G. Kayes
kayes at SUNGCG.USOUTHAL.EDU
Mon Jul 31 12:00:02 EST 1995
By and large tapeworms do NOT cause pruritis when they pass and they of
course do not fit the previous description. It sounds most likely that
they are either whip or threadworms, _Trichuris trichiura_ or the ever
present pinworm _Enterobius vermicularis_. Neither of these criters can
be associated with undercooked red meat. They both are considered soil
transmitted parasites (E.v. is a socially althought not necessarily
sexually transmitted infection. You usually self cure from E.v. after a
few rounds of the life cycle and the itching is very characteristics. It
is not usually treated unless sleeploss or pruritis are compelling. T.t.
may survive for years although the passage of worms in the stool is not
that frequent of an occurence (as was suggested by this case). This
infection can also be treated by a physician and should respond
BTW, Yomesan is the same drug as niclosamide. Taenia infections
do come from the consumption of raw meat as suggested by Francois, but
the case is not really consistent. Further, there are many other
parasitic infections that can be aquired by eating raw or undercooked
meat. Many are far worse than those already considered. However, as a
devout and confirmed carnivore, I say know your prey, prepare it
adequately and pass the Worcestershire sauce.
/\ /\//\/######/ /\/#######\ ! Stephen G. Kayes, Ph.D. !
/\/ /\//\/ /\/ /\/ ! Structural & Cellular Biology !
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On 31 Jul 1995, Francois Dreyer wrote:
> From putting both your articles together I understand that we are dealing
> with human faeces.
> Furthermore your statement that humans can get it from eating redmeat that
> is not properly cooked I believe we are dealing with a tape-worm.
> As I don't know which tapeworms occur in your country just the following bit
> of info concerning this kind of infestation in South Africa.
> There are two main tapeworms here that people can get from meat. The one
> from pigs is called Taenia solium and the one from cattle Taenia saginata.
> If this was a South African case I would have said that the latter was the
> The proglottids (segments) of this tape-worm leave the host spontaneously or
> during defaecation. It is espesially this spontaneous movements that can be
> emmbarrassing because the segments can start crawling out of the rectum any
> time when not epected.
> The tape-worm larvae forms small cysts (bovine measles) in the muscles of
> cattle that serves as the intermediate host. When humans eat contaminated
> meat that is not cooked properly like for example, rare or underdone steak
> the get the cysts in, that forms a tape-worm.
> Tape-worm infection in humans is not lethal but signs like loss of weight
> (note; not a good way of dieting), vitamine deficiency etc. may occur.
> If however these cysts develop in a human for example in the brain it can
> cause epilepsy, meningitis and paralysis but this don't usually occur.
> For treatment literature recommend Atebrin, niclosamide, praziquantel. This
> must be followed by a purgative, for example magnesium sulphate to expell
> the dead worms.
> A very good medicine for tape-worms in South Africa is Yomesan.
> This is only a summary of the whole problem and the best advice concerning
> treatment you will get from your doctor.
> If anybody more knowlegeable about this is reading my answer that can supply
> me with info on this kind of zoonosis in their country, they can email me.
> Francois Dreyer
> Parasitology Departement
> Regional Veterinary Laboratory
> Stellenbosch, SOUTH AFRICA
> <francie at vetlab8.agric.za>
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