The types of worms that infect the internal organs of a person are called helminths (worms). According to statistics, today about 30% of the total population is susceptible to helminthic invasion. Worms poisoning the body can infect any part of the body. This is dangerous not only for diseases that can provoke helminths. Their presence in the body can be fatal.
To date, helminthiasis can be completely cured not only with medications, but also with folk remedies. Each type has its own methods of treatment. Therefore, it is worth knowing and understanding what the types of worms are, as well as the symptoms of a parasitic infection, in order to take timely measures.
Classification of helminthiasis
Parasitic worms are divided into two large groups: intestinal and tissue.
The first species lives directly in the intestines. This group includes:
- roundworms and pinworms;
- hookworms and lamblia;
- whipworms and dwarf tapeworm;
- bovine tapeworm and broad tapeworm;
- pork tapeworm.
Tissue worms can inhabit any organ of the human body and parasitize for many years. These include:
- cysticercus and trematodes;
- trichinella and hepatic fluke;
- echinococcus and alveococcus.
They are the most common and tricky types of worms that live in the small intestine of an adult or child. Infection with this type of helminth is called ascariasis.
In the first days of the invasion, a person begins to feel malaise, nervousness, fever, shortness of breath, cough and pain in the chest area. Such symptoms are justified by the fact that helminths initially affect the respiratory system.
Infection can occur from drinking raw water from unverified sources, poorly processed fresh fruits and vegetables. In the summer, the risk of ascariasis is increased.
Small helminths that settle in the intestines cause a disease called enterobiasis. The worms lay their eggs in the anal area. The laid eggs turn into larvae and can re-enter the body only through the oral cavity.
Re-infection occurs due to the contact of the dirty hands of a person suffering from enterobiasis with the food that he eats. Symptoms of infection may include itching around the anus and increased irritability.
Important! The disease is carried by humans.
Infection with hookworm infection occurs through damaged skin on contact with the ground, where the larvae of these types of worms live.
Hookworms, before entering the intestines, follow the same path as roundworms.
Symptoms include coughing, lower abdominal pain, nausea, and stool disturbance. This type of helminthiasis can cause anemia.
Giardiasis progresses in people who have a habit of biting nails and other objects (pencils, pens). Infection can also occur in the case of drinking poor-quality water, unwashed products, contact with dirty laundry, where larvae may be, and a carrier of the disease.
Symptoms of infection may include loose stools and lower abdominal pain.
Trichocephalosis occurs during infection with whipworm larvae. They get inside along with unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Dirty hands and water are also vectors.
The invasion is accompanied by acute abdominal pain, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. Signs of infection are often similar to those of appendicitis.
Infection with the worm occurs not only through dirty hands and unwashed food, but insects can also be a carrier.
Dwarf tapeworm affects the intestines and liver, causing inflammation and poisoning.
Hymenolepiasis may be accompanied by the appearance of dysbiosis, impaired appetite, increased thirst, increased fatigue and nervousness.
One of the most dangerous types of worms that parasitize the large intestine.
An adult worm reaches several meters in length. The individual takes away all nutrients from the human body and produces severe intoxication.
The symptoms of the invasion are:
- diarrhea and abdominal pain;
- vomiting and nausea;
- restless sleep;
- dizziness and fainting.
The risk of teniarinhoses disease arises when eating insufficiently processed beef contaminated with bovine tapeworm larvae.
The cause of diphyllobothriasis is the consumption of poorly processed fish products and caviar.
The worm that causes the disease is one of the largest and can reach ten meters.
Symptoms of infection are severe pain in the lower abdomen and anemia.
Infection with this type of helminth is extremely dangerous for humans. Eating pork meat that has not been sufficiently cooked can cause Finns to enter the body and become adults.
From the body of the pork tapeworm, the so-called segments are periodically separated, which are able to leave the body on their own through the anus or with feces, entering the environment. Signs of teniasis are similar to those of a bovine tapeworm infection.
It is a type of tissue worm that is the product of a pork tapeworm segment. Segments containing tapeworm eggs enter the external environment and can re-enter the body through external environmental objects and provoke the development of cysticercosis.
Parasites take up residence in muscles, myocardium and even the brain.
Important! They have a squeezing effect on organs and cause inflammation.
Opisthorchiasis occurs due to the ingestion of the larvae of the hepatic fluke into the human body together with the infected fish.
Signs of the presence of opisthorchiasis:
- aches all over the body;
- the occurrence of allergies.
More serious symptoms are chronic. This type of parasite is dangerous for the development of liver cancer.
The worm settles in the body, most often in the liver or lungs. Echinococcus can cause the formation of a cyst in the affected organ and the appearance of tumors. Infection can be fatal.
The larvae are transmitted to humans through contact with sick animals.
Trichinosis affects primarily people who eat poorly processed meat of wild animals. Pigs can also be a carrier of Trichinella.
The habitats of adults in the human body are various types of muscles (respiratory, face, etc. ).
At an early stage, nausea and loose stools occur. The subsequent symptoms of the invasion are fever, edema, skin rashes, muscle pain. Infection with this type of parasite without timely treatment can be fatal.
Ways of human infection with helminths
- Biohelminthiasis (infection from animals).
- Contagious helminthiasis (transmitted from person to person).
- Geohelminthiasis (diseases caused by parasites that carry out one of their life cycles in the earth).
Factors affecting the manifestations of helminthiasis
The way the parasite enters the body;
- The degree of adaptation of the helminth to the human body;
- Population density (number) of parasitic individuals;
- The habitat of the worm (tissue parasites live in the thickness of soft tissues, and luminal ones live in the gaps of hollow organs). Some helminths in different phases have both luminal and tissue forms. Larval and developing stages of worms, as a rule, cause more pronounced pathological changes.
In the absence of re-infection, the number of adult parasites in the human body does not increase. This feature significantly distinguishes helminthic invasions from diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.
Worms in humans: symptoms
Helminthiasis is a disease characterized by 2 stages of the course (acute, from two weeks to two months) and chronic (from several months to several years).
Symptoms of the acute phase of helminthiasis
The first signs of the disease can appear at different times (most often after 2-3 weeks, with ascariasis - after 2-3 days, and with filariasis, the incubation period can last 6-18 months).
In the acute stage of parasitic invasion, the most characteristic symptom is an allergic reaction (antibodies are produced to the antigens of migrating parasite larvae). Often in people infected with worms, itchy rashes appear on the skin, prone to a recurrent course, regional lymph nodes increase, generalized or local edema, muscle and joint pain may occur. Also, migrating parasite larvae can cause chest pain, coughing, choking attacks, stool disorders, nausea and vomiting.
Signs of chronic helminthiasis
The symptoms of the chronic phase directly depend on which organ is "inhabited" by parasites, and also their size and number play an important role.
So, when parasitizing in the intestines of single individuals, the disease can be asymptomatic (except for cases of infection with very large parasites). The characteristic signs of the chronic phase of intestinal helminthiasis are dyspeptic disorders. In children, asthenoneurotic and pain syndrome is more pronounced. With massive invasion of roundworms, the development of intestinal obstruction, obstructive jaundice and pancreatitis is possible.
In people suffering from helminthiases, due to a weakened immune system and an enhanced process of cell division (a consequence of the constant restoration of tissues damaged by parasites), the risk of malignant tumors increases significantly.
Types of helminths parasitizing in the human body
The causative agents of human helminthiasis are 2 types of worms: round (nematodes) and flat (tape and flukes).
The parasites that cause enterobiasis are small (up to 10 mm) thin cavity worms with a grayish-white coloration. Infection occurs alimentary (through the mouth). The reason for this is dirty hands. The eggs of the parasite can be found in the ground, on the wool of infected animals, unwashed vegetables and fruits, etc. At the same time, with enterobiasis, cases of self-infection are frequent (especially in children), resulting from scratching of the itchy areas and subsequent swallowing of eggs. The pinworm larva develops within two weeks in the digestive tract. Having turned into an adult, the worm parasitizes in the lower sections of the small and upper sections of the colon.
Ascaris is a large spindle-shaped parasite of red-yellow color, reaching 40 cm (females) and 15-25 cm (males) in adulthood. Without suction cups or other fastening devices, the roundworm is able to independently move towards the food masses. The eggs laid by the female parasite are excreted in the feces.
Vlasoglav, the causative agent of trichocephalosis, is a white helminth parasitizing in the initial section of the large intestine and reaching a size of 4-5 cm. The parasite feeds on blood and tissues of the rectal mucosa.
With small numbers of worms, trichocephalosis is asymptomatic. In a severe stage (with massive invasion), the patient develops abdominal pain, severe diarrhea develops, sometimes accompanied by rectal prolapse. This condition is most often observed in debilitated children. With a moderate phase of trichocephalosis, a child's growth retardation is possible.
The causative agent of trichinosis is a small round helminth, reaching 2-5 mm in length. Infection occurs when eating poorly roasted meat (pork, bear meat, wild boar). Penetrating into the intestines, the larva of the parasite matures in 3-4 days to the state of a sexually mature individual. The life span of the worm is 40 days, after which the parasite dies. By piercing the intestinal wall, the larvae enter the bloodstream and are carried to all organs of the human body, settling in the muscles. In this case, the respiratory and facial muscles, as well as the flexor muscles of the limbs, are most often affected.
In the first days after the invasion, patients complain of abdominal pain. Then, after about 2 weeks, the body temperature rises to 39-40 C, itchy rashes appear on the skin, muscle pains develop, and the face swells. During this period, in the case of massive infection, there is a significant risk of death. After about a month, there is a recovery. The parasite is encapsulated in a spiral form, after which it dies within two years.
Hookworm and nekator
These two parasites are similar in biological characteristics, as well as in caused diseases. In this regard, it is customary to combine them under a common name (hookworms). Worms, reaching lengths of 10-15 mm, parasitize in 12-p. intestine. It should be noted that this is one of the most common, but, at the same time, quite rarely detected parasites. Worm larvae enter the human body through the skin upon contact with contaminated soil. Further, getting into the bloodstream, they, like roundworms, migrate to the lungs, and then, through the bronchi, along with expectorant sputum, into the digestive tract. Ankylostoma parasitizes in the intestine, attaching itself to the intestinal wall. Therefore, the most characteristic symptom of this helminthiasis is iron deficiency anemia, as well as a change in the ratio of protein fractions (dysproteinemia).
This is one of the largest helminths, reaching a length of 10-20 meters. The disease caused by this parasite is called diphyllobothriasis. The worm's developmental cycle begins with freshwater fish or crustaceans. The larva enters the human body, which is the final owner of the broad tapeworm, along with eggs or infected fish fillets. Reaching the small intestine, the parasite attaches to its wall and grows to a mature individual within 20-25 days.
Diphyllobothriasis occurs against the background of disorders of the digestive tract and B12-deficiency anemia.
The parasite that causes opisthorchiasis is a flat worm reaching a length of 7-20 mm. Human infection occurs when eating contaminated fish meat that has not undergone sufficient heat treatment. The larva of the hepatic fluke from the small intestine penetrates into the bile ducts and into the gallbladder, fixing there with the help of two suction cups.
In the acute phase of helminthiasis, the patient has soreness in the upper abdomen, body temperature rises, nausea, muscle pain develops, diarrhea, and skin rashes are possible. The chronic course of opisthorchiasis is manifested by symptoms of hepatitis, inflammation of the bile ducts, cholecystitis, disturbances in the digestive tract, nervous disorders, weakness and increased fatigue. The parasite leads to the development of irreversible changes, and even after its expulsion, the patient does not undergo chronic inflammatory processes and functional disorders.
Bovine and pork tapeworm
These parasites, almost identical in structure, reach a length of 5-6 meters. Infection with teniarinhoses and teniasis occurs due to the consumption of meat from cattle or pork infected by the Finns (one of the intermediate forms of helminthiasis). Viable Finns, presented in the form of whitish bubbles reaching 0. 5 cm in size, attach to the wall of the human small intestine and turn into an adult in 3 months. The tape parasite, consisting of more than 2000 segments, is constantly growing.
For this parasite, a person is an intermediate host. The worm parasitizes the human body in the form of the Finns. The final owner of echinococcus is a wolf, dog or cat. Infection occurs alimentary through contact with animals and with environmental objects seeded with Echinococcus eggs. After entering the intestine, oncospheres (six-hooked larvae) develop from them. From the intestines, they enter the bloodstream and are carried throughout the body.
This parasite, considered a type of echinococcus, is the cause of one of the most dangerous helminthiases (alveococcosis), which is similar in severity to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Infection occurs when oncospheres (eggs with mature larvae) penetrate the intestines. Laurocysts are very aggressive formations that constantly grow due to enlarging bubbles, and also have the ability to grow into the liver, like cancer metastases. Necrotic changes due to disturbances in the functioning of blood vessels undergo necrotic changes in nearby tissues. Spreading to nearby structures, the alveococcus forms fibrous nodes with inclusions of multicameral bubbles. This condition can last for several years, and therefore it requires mandatory surgical intervention.
Diagnostics of helminthiasis
Diagnostics of helminthic invasions includes the following activities:
- careful collection of anamnesis, which helps to find out the possible causes of infection;
- laboratory tests of feces, blood, intestinal contents 12p, rectal and perianal mucus, muscle tissue, pulmonary sputum, bile. The analysis may reveal eggs, segments or fragments of parasites. At the same time, an increased content of eosinophils in the blood is also a signal of the presence of helminthiasis.
- when diagnosing diseases caused by larval stages or tissue parasites, serological studies are carried out (ELISA, RSK, indirect agglutination reaction, immunofluorescence analysis, etc. ).
- to identify worms that affect liver tissue, ultrasound, CT and endoscopic studies are prescribed.
Worms in humans: treatment
In the acute phase of parasitic infection, the patient is prescribed detoxification and desensitizing therapy. In severe cases of the disease (trematodes of the liver, trichinosis), glucocorticoids are used according to medical indications.
As drugs of specific therapy, taking into account the nature of the pathogen, special anthelmintic chemotherapeutic agents are prescribed.
In parallel, the patient is recommended to take antihistamines and enterosorbents. The final stage of treatment includes the use of probiotics that normalize the intestinal microflora.
A special gentle diet is also prescribed (food should be digestible and low in fat).
During the period of antihelminthic therapy, the patient is required to strictly observe personal hygiene (in order to avoid re-infection). At the same time, for many helminthiasis, all family members and persons who are in constant contact with the infected must undergo treatment.
Underestimation of their danger, combined with insufficient information about the biology of these creatures and the ways of infection with them, has led to the fact that at least several billion people are carriers of these or those parasites.
Parasites can also be present not only inside a person, but even outside the human body.
Prevention of parasite infestation
Rule # 1:you cannot eat anything from fish that is not sufficiently salted, fried or boiled. Sushi, lightly salted herring, or sashimi can be considered gourmet food. But in essence it is raw fish, and fish is one of the components of the life cycle of parasitic worms.
How everything happens:first, the larva enters the mollusk, where it does not grow more than a certain limit, then the fish eats the mollusk, the larva enters its digestive tract, remaining alive, then grows and multiplies, getting into the muscle tissue of the fish, then this fish is eaten by a dolphin, gull or polar bear. Or a restaurant visitor who decides to join the high Japanese culture.
Safe raw fish exists in theory. To do this, it must be either immediately frozen after catch and thawed just before cooking, or it must be specially grown on a fish farm with control of the absence of parasites. But it is usually impossible to check whether a risky dish was really prepared from it.
The same care must be taken with meat; do not try raw minced meat and freshly salted bacon.
In addition, in order not to become infected with helminths, vegetables must be washed before eating, as well as hands. As a component of the natural environment, these parasites in the human body are found to be widespread almost everywhere.
Any contact of food or hands with the ground, dirt dust and vegetation can leave their microscopic eggs on food. If they enter the intestines, worms will hatch from the eggs, which will not be easy to remove.
There are parasites that attack a person who is walking or relaxing in nature, for example:
- malaria plasmodium, contained in the saliva of mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles,
- the causative agent of encephalitis contained in the saliva of ixodid ticks,
- gadfly and wolfarth fly.
Their prevention consists in the use of all kinds of repellents in hiking in the wild, as well as in the maximum protection of open areas of the body (mosquito nets, nets, special gel).
However, what can you do if prevention has not helped? Since the attack has been known for a long time, treatment with folk methods has also been known for a long time.
And in conclusion, it can be noted that the observance of simple rules of hygiene and sanitation, the extermination of flies and cockroaches, can significantly reduce the risk of infection with parasites, leading to serious consequences.