BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuTapeworm infection - beef or porkTeniasis; Pork tapeworm; Beef tapeworm; Tapeworm; Taenia saginata; Taenia solium; TaeniasisBeef or pork tapeworm infection is an infection with the tapeworm parasite found in beef or pork. Causes Tapeworm infection is caused by eating the raw or undercooked meat of infected animals. Cattle usually carry Taenia saginata (T saginata). Pigs carry Taenia solium (T solium).In the human intestine, the young form of the tapeworm from the infected meat (larva) develops into the adult tapeworm. A tapeworm can grow to longer than 12 feet (3.5 meters) and can live for years.Tapeworms have many segments. Each segment is able to produce eggs. The eggs are spread alone or in groups and can pass out with the stool or through the anus.Adults and children with pork tapeworm can infect themselves if they have poor hygiene. They can ingest tapeworm eggs they pick up on their hands while wiping or scratching their anus or the skin around it.Those who are infected can expose other people to T solium eggs, usually through food handling. Symptoms Tapeworm infection usually does not cause any symptoms. Some people may have abdominal discomfort.People often realize they are infected when they pass segments of the worm in their stool, especially if the segments are moving. Exams and Tests Tests that may be done to confirm diagnosis of an infection include:CBC, including differential count CBCA complete blood count (CBC) test measures the following:The number of red blood cells (RBC count)The number of white blood cells (WBC count)The tota...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Differential countThe blood differential test measures the percentage of each type of white blood cell (WBC) that you have in your blood. It also reveals if there are...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Stool exam for eggs of T solium or T saginata, or bodies of the parasiteStool examStool ova and parasites exam is a lab test to look for parasites or eggs (ova) in a stool sample. The parasites are associated with intestinal infec...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Tapeworms are treated with medicines taken by mouth, usually in a single dose. The drug of choice for tapeworm infections is praziquantel. Niclosamide can also be used, but this medicine is not available in the United States. Outlook (Prognosis) With treatment, the tapeworm infection goes away. Possible Complications In rare cases, worms can cause a blockage in the intestine.Blockage in the intestineIntestinal obstruction is a partial or complete blockage of the bowel. The contents of the intestine cannot pass through it.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article If pork tapeworm larvae move out of the intestine, they can cause local growths and damage tissues such as the brain, eye, or heart. This condition is called cysticercosis. Infection of the brain (neurocysticercosis) can cause seizures and other nervous system problems.CysticercosisCysticercosis is an infection by a parasite called Taenia solium (T solium). It is a pork tapeworm that creates cysts in different areas in the body...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article SeizuresA seizure is the physical changes in behavior that occurs during an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. The term "seizure" is often...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your health care provider for an appointment if you pass something in your stool that looks like a white worm. Prevention In the United States, laws on feeding practices and the inspection of domestic food animals have largely eliminated tapeworms.Measures you can take to prevent tapeworm infection include:Do not eat raw meat. Cook whole cut meat to 145°F (63°C) and ground meat to 160°F (71°C). Use a food thermometer to measure the thickest part of the meat. Freezing meat is not a reliable because it may not kill all eggs. Wash hands well after using the toilet, especially after a bowel movement.Open ReferencesReferencesBogitsh BJ, Carter CE, Oeltmann TN. Intestinal tapeworms. In: Bogitsh BJ, Carter CE, Oeltmann TN, eds. Human Parasitology. 5th ed. Cambridge, MA: Elsevier Academic Press; 2019:chap 13.Fairley JK, King CH. Tapeworms (cestodes). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 289.AllVideoImagesTogDigestive system organs - illustration The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.Digestive system organsillustrationDigestive system organs - illustration The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.Digestive system organsillustrationRelated Information Seizures(Symptoms)Cysticercosis(Condition)Fish tapeworm infection(Condition) Review Date: 9/1/2021 Reviewed By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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