People and animals are attacked by these creatures, the infection is easily transmitted to each other through contaminated food, water and dirty hands. The rules of prevention and strict observance of personal hygiene will help prevent the appearance of parasites in the body, but even these measures do not guarantee one hundred percent protection. Helminths inhabiting the human body can live in various organs, differ in appearance, size, and the degree of harm to humans.
Parasites in the human body
How many situations are there where a person goes to the doctor for years and cannot get rid of allergies, cure asthma, drink antihyperglycemic drugs and everything is unnecessary? Each of us has such acquaintances that spent huge sums on the treatment of various diseases and received no results.
Only in rare cases, when a doctor turns out to be either very intelligent or very responsible, does he or she refer such a patient to routine fecal analysis and then. . . Then parasites are found in the human body, which cause dozens of diseases, and with which during treatment no one fights these pathologies.
Contrary to popular belief, worms do not necessarily "prescribe" in the intestines and can be detected by routine analysis of feces. Many parasites develop in the lungs, heart, muscles, even the brain and eyes.
The well-known, once conquered malaria has returned again and is the most dangerous parasitic disease according to WHO experts. Plasmodium malaria lives exclusively in the blood, and not all doctors will be able to recognize this disease with sufficient certainty.
How parasites enter the human body
They enter the human body in different ways, most often through the use of contaminated food and water.
Pinworm eggs remain viable for up to 6 months and enter the body through toys, rugs, underwear and pastels. Ascaris eggs enter us through poorly washed vegetables and fruits. Homemade shish kebab or bacon is a 95% guarantee of trichinosis infection.
Parasites get inside us with insect bites, swimming in freshwater reservoirs, in the air, with dust, which is the vector of eggs.
Salted fish, sliced fish or caviar can cause a tapeworm infection, which is 12 meters long and can live in your body for up to 25 years. Cases of parasite infestation in infants have become more common in the womb. Dogs and cats, by their wet breath, can disperse parasite eggs at a distance of up to 5 meters.
You can get infected from dirty hands, not only your own, but also vendors, cooks, waiters, parasite eggs travel with money and public transport handrails. A high concentration of parasitic eggs is observed in foods such as: bacon, smoked sausage, ham, sausages, pork of any form, beef, chicken, lamb and even chicken eggs inare very often infected.
Epidemiologists around the world are trying to fight this scourge. In the United States, for example, to detect helminthiasis, 1 in a thousand pig carcasses are destroyed. This represents losses of several million dollars, but it cannot be otherwise.
There are no absolutely reliable methods of disinfecting meat, and the usual culinary treatment does not destroy the larvae. You cannot guarantee the purity of your food by boiling or frying meat, a large number of parasite larvae still enter your body.
In which organs of a person can parasites live
Parasites of worms are divided into two categories, which correspond to the site of activity in the donor body:
- cavity: worms that live in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. There are about 100 varieties of intestinal parasites, and for each section of the intestine, there are a dozen species. The small intestine is ready to accept roundworms, antilostomy, large tapeworms and other less common "brothers". The small intestine will "share the living space" with pinworms, dwarf tapeworms and others. The medical literature describes cases where a person was simultaneously infected with several types of parasites;
- tissues:worms located in organs, tissues and even in the blood. Modern medicine successfully copes with paragonimiasis (lungs), cysticercosis (brain), echinococcosis (liver) and filariasis (lymphatic vessels). Some worm larvae move through the body through the circulatory system and randomly attach themselves to any organ. If many eggs are introduced, the whole body can be infected.
Pinworms - what they look like in the human body (photo from worms)
pinwormsare one of the most common parasites of human roundworms (nematodes). Pinworm infections are more common in children, but also in adults.
Pinworm is a small, round, white parasite. Individuals of the female have dimensions: 8-13 mm in length, 0. 5 mm in thickness, tail oblong and straight, pointed at the end.
This feature of the female parasite's tail explains its name - "pinworms", from the word "sharp". The male is much smaller: its length is 2-5 mm, its thickness is 0. 2 mm, the tail is curved, unlike the female pinworm.
Human infection with pinworms is called enterobiosis and mainly occurs when personal hygiene rules are not followed (insufficient hand washing). Most of the time, pinworms live in the small intestine and the upper large intestine, but in some cases they can migrate to other organs and organ systems as well.
A female helminth, having entered the human body orally and mated with a male representing a nematode, migrates to the large intestine, where it receives the nutrients necessary for vital activity and the maturation of theeggs from undigested food residues.
After 4 weeks, the female pinworm begins to migrate through the rectum at a rate of 12 cm per hour, crawls out of the anus and lays about 5000-15000 eggs in the perianal region, which after 4-6 hoursfully ripe and are ready for an additional life cycle. . .
This process can be accompanied by itching, which causes the infected person to scratch the anus, and thus contributes to the spread of the parasites which enter food under the fingernails into the hands of other people (inespecially for children who are in very close contact with each other and do not always observe the rules of personal hygiene).
Pinworm infection occurs from person to person, through dust with parasite eggs, objects that the patient has touched. Pinworm eggs can also be carried to food by cockroaches and flies.
Eggs also remain on linen, clothes, bed, which explains their rapid spread. Due to the fact that the life cycle of the worm is very ephemeral, and infection occurs from person to person, it is quite difficult to get rid of parasites, because in addition to taking anthelmintic drugs, Personal belongings of the patient should be treated and its isolation from other carriers of the nematode.
Ascaris - what they look like in the human body (Photo from worms)
Ascarisis a large, fusiform red-yellow parasite, reaching 40 cm (females) and 15-25 cm (males) in adulthood. Without suction cups or other fasteners, roundworms can move independently to food masses. Eggs laid by the female parasite are excreted in the stool.
Ascariasis infection occurs when mature eggs are swallowed with water or unwashed vegetables and fruits containing soil particles. Once the eggs have entered the intestines, mature larvae emerge from them.
Then, entering the intestinal wall, they reach the heart through the bloodstream, and from there they enter the lungs. Through the pulmonary alveoli, the larva of the roundworm through the respiratory tract re-enters the oral cavity.
In the intestinal phase of their existence, roundworms, endowed with the ability of spiral movements, can penetrate even the narrowest openings. This feature of the parasite often leads to the development of quite serious complications (obstructive jaundice or pancreatitis)
After re-ingestion, the parasite reaches the small intestine where it transforms into an adult. The worm lives for 12 months, then dies and is excreted with the feces. In the intestines of a host, one and several hundred individuals can live.
Allergens secreted by roundworms can cause severe allergic reactions. Large numbers of adults can cause intestinal obstruction, and the worms that enter the airways sometimes cause suffocation.
Vlasoglava - what they look like in the human body
Vlasoglavaare more often found in southern regions, because the eggs of this worm love heat. Most infections occur in rural areas. Whipworm eggs live in the soil.
The invasion occurs through hands, contaminated soil particles, improperly washed vegetables and fruits. As a result of infection, a disease occurs - trichocephalosis. Vlasoglav parasitizes in the intestines. This worm causes anemia because it feeds on human blood, and severe abdominal pain.
To diagnose trichocephalosis, the rectum and sigmoid colon are examined with a special device (sigmoidoscopy). Thus, accumulations of parasites in the intestine are detected. Treatment for invasion is long-term, as the whipworm eggs are protected by a dense membrane.
The parasite's eggs are excreted in the feces, but they are very small and cannot always be seen even under a microscope. Only with a very strong invasion is it possible to detect eggs in the analysis of feces. They are barrel shaped and have a brownish yellow color.
There are holes on 2 sides of the egg. What do worms look like in feces? They are very difficult to find alive in feces because whipworms cannot live outside the human body for long. Only anthelmintic treatment can be seen in the droppings of dead white grubs.
Liver fluke - what it looks like in the human body
The parasite responsible for opisthorchiasis is a flatworm up to 7 to 20 mm in length.
In the acute phase of helminthiasis, the patient has pain in the upper abdomen, body temperature rises, nausea develops, muscle pain, diarrhea and rash are possible. The larvae of the parasite begin to develop after the eggs have entered fresh water (from the snails that swallowed them). Then they enter the body of fish (carp, crucian, bream, roach).
Human infection occurs when eating contaminated fish meat that has not undergone sufficient heat treatment. The larva of the hepatic fluke of the small intestine enters the bile ducts and the gallbladder, attaching itself to them with two suction cups.
The chronic course of opisthorchiasis is manifested by symptoms of hepatitis, inflammation of the bile ducts, cholecystitis, digestive tract disorders, nervous disorders, weakness and increased fatigue. The parasite leads to the development of irreversible changes, and even after its expulsion, the patient does not experience chronic inflammatory processes and functional disorders.
Trichinella - what it looks like in the human body (Photo from worms)
The causative agent of trichinosis is a small, round helminth up to 2 to 5 mm in length. The infection occurs by eating poorly roasted meat (pork, bear meat, wild boar). Entering the intestines, the larva of the parasite matures to the state of a sexually mature individual in 3-4 days.
The worm lasts 40 days, after which the parasite dies. By piercing the intestinal wall, the larvae enter the bloodstream and are transported 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 pain develops, and the face swells.
During this period, in the event of massive infection, the risk of death is significant. After about a month there is a recovery. The parasite is encapsulated in a spiral form, after which it dies within two years.
Wide ribbon - what it looks like in the human body
It is one of the largest helminths, reaching a length of 10 to 20 meters. The disease caused by this parasite is called diphyllobothriasis. The worm's development cycle begins with freshwater fish or crustaceans.
On reaching the small intestine, the parasite attaches to its wall and becomes a mature individual within 20 to 25 days.
The larva enters the human body, which is the final owner of the broad tapeworm, with infected eggs or fish fillets.
Diphyllobothriasis occurs against the background of digestive tract disorders and vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.
Echinococcus - what it looks like in the human body
For this parasite, a person is an intermediate host. The worm parasitizes the human body in the form of the Finns. The ultimate owner of the echinococcus is a wolf, dog or cat.
Infection occurs through food through contact with animals and environmental objects inoculated 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.
The worm's preferred parasitic sites are the liver and lungs. Settling in these organs, the larva turns into Finn (echinococcal cyst), which, gradually increasing in size, begins to destroy nearby tissues.
Echinococcosis is often confused with a tumor of benign or malignant origin when diagnosed. In addition to mechanical stress (compression of organs and blood vessels), rupture of the echinococcal cyst sometimes occurs. This condition can cause toxic shock or the formation of several new cysts.
Alveococcus - what it looks like in the human body
This parasite, considered a type of echinococcus, is the cause of one of the most dangerous helminthiases (alveococcosis), the severity of which is similar to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Infection occurs when oncospheres (eggs with mature larvae) enter the intestine.
This parasite, considered a type of echinococcus, is the cause of one of the most dangerous helminthiases (alveococcosis)
There the embryo emerges from the egg and, penetrating the intestinal walls, enters the bloodstream. In addition, with the blood flow, the parasite spreads to all tissues and organs in the body (most often it is localized in the liver). This is where the main stage of development in larvae begins (a bubble with several chambers, the laurocyst is formed).
Each chamber contains the embryonic head of the parasite, which continues to grow gradually. Laurocysts are very aggressive formations that are constantly growing due to the enlargement of the bubbles and also have the ability to grow in the liver like cancer metastases.
Adjacent tissue undergoes necrotic changes due to disruption of blood vessels. Extending to nearby structures, the alveococcus forms fibrous nodes with inclusions of multicameral blisters. This condition can last for several years and therefore requires mandatory surgery.
Schistosoma - what it looks like in the human body
Schistosoma - blood fluke, belongs to the class of trematodes, depending on the species, causes various schistosomiasis. It is a flat dioecious helminth, reaching 4-20 millimeters in length and 0. 25 mm in width. The body of the schistosome is equipped with 2 suction cups - oral and abdominal, they are located close to each other. Female schistosomes are longer and thinner than males. There is a longitudinal groove on the body of the male, with its help he holds the female. Their eggs have a diameter of 0. 1 mm, oval in shape, on the surface of one of the poles there is a large thorn.
Human schistosome worms choose people as their final host, in their body they parasitize the small veins of the colon, abdominal cavity, uterus and bladder. The worms feed on blood, partially absorbing nutrients through the cuticle. Schistosome eggs are transported to the intestines and bladder, where they mature and are excreted with feces or urine. In freshwater, a larva emerges from the eggs - miracidium, its intermediate host is mollusks. In the body of the mollusk, metacercariae develop into cercariae in 4-8 weeks.
Pork tapeworm - what it looks like in the human body
The pork tapeworm, like a bovine tapeworm, has 4 suction cups on its body, but in addition to that, the helminth's body is also equipped with a double edge of hooks. The strobila reaches two to three meters in length. The pork tapeworm has a three-lobed ovary, on each side the uterus has 7 to 12 branches. A hallmark of this helminth is the ability of the segments to crawl out of the anus. After taking out, their shell becomes dry and bursts, so that the helminth eggs enter the external environment. The intermediate owner of the tapeworm can be pigs and humans.
Primary host is human. Intestinal parasites in humans include pork tapeworm, the helminth found in the patient's intestines, where they lay their eggs. The infection occurs during the consumption of invasive meat.
Which doctor should I contact if I have a worm infection
If infection with worms is suspected, it is necessary to contact an infectious disease doctor, helminthologistor parasitologist. An infectious disease specialist may be contacted for infection with parasitic worms or protozoa.
A helminthologist can only be contacted if infection with parasitic worms (pinworms, roundworms, whipworm, opisthorchiasis, etc. ) is suspected.
A parasitologist can be contacted in cases where infection with protozoa is suspected - lamblia, toxoplasm and amoeba.
Also, if the parasite is localized not in the lumen of the intestine or stomach, but in other organs (for example, the lungs, liver), you can contact a specialist engaged indiagnosis and treatment of diseases of this organ. That is, for example, with opisthorchiasis, you can also consult a gastroenterologist or hepatologist, and with echinococcosis - a pulmonologist.