The main types of worms in humans and their special characteristics

Not everyone knows what is dangerous about the presence of worms in the body, the types of worms and how they infect people. A number of parasites can live in the human body without causing interference. Up to 90% of adults and children do not even suspect that they are infected with worms. Helminths are very important for medicine, as they can be transmitted from person to person and cause dysfunction of internal organs.

The most common types of helminths

Human worms are parasitic worms that live in organs and live outside their hosts. There are several hundred types of them. In some countries, laboratory tests can only detect some of them. The following types of worms are distinguished:

  • nematodes (ringworms);
  • cestode (tapeworm);
  • trematode (flux).

Distinguish between luminal and tissue parasites. The first is distinguished by the fact that they live in the lumen of hollow organs (intestines, bile ducts). Tissue worms in humans live in tissue thickness. There are worms that belong to two groups at once. This is a ringworm. Adults live in the lumen of the small intestine, and larvae can infect the lungs and liver.

abdominal pain with the presence of parasites in the body

The classification of helminths includes the division of worms not only according to their habitat, but also according to life cycle characteristics. Some parasites require an intermediate host (mollusks, fish, animals) to complete development, in which the larvae mature. Such worms belong to the group of biohelminths. Some parasitic worms need to enter the external environment (water or soil). This is how geohelminths thrive.

The contact types of helminthiases are distinguished separately. These include hymenolepiasis and enterobiasis. Infection with cream worms and dwarf tapeworms may occur during contact with patients. Distinguish between intestinal and extraintestinal worms. The first group includes cream worms, ringworms, tapeworms, whip worms. Other parasites (fasciola, fluke, echinococcus, trichinella, alveococcus) affect other organs.

Helminths from the group of nematodes

Various types of helminths are known. The most common are roundworms (nematodes). They belong to the primordial type of worm. Human nematodes are arranged as follows:

  • has a body that is not divided into segments;
  • various sizes;
  • filamentous or spindle -shaped;
  • have skin and cuticle muscle sacs;
  • have a digestive system in the form of a tube through;
  • dioecious;
  • able to lay eggs.

Often, the presence of these worms in humans is indicated by gastrointestinal disorders. The most common nematode parasites in the human body are cream worms, ringworms, tapeworms (nekator and mine worms) and whip worms. According to the WHO, more than 1 billion people suffer from enterobiasis. Young children tend to get sick.

A person can be infected with cream worms anywhere. This is due to the widespread spread of helminths eggs. Delivery factors include toys, household items, pens, pencils, unwashed food, dirty hands, fences on buses, telephones. Of all the types of helminths, pinworms are detected most frequently.

The parasite reaches a length of 1 cm and has a slender body with a sharp tip. They are attached to the intestines. Young children who go to kindergarten are more likely to get sick. Cream worms live in the human body for 1-2 months. A person can be infected not only with enterobiasis, but also with ascariasis. Often, the disease is detected simultaneously. Roundworms are larger (20-40 cm).

the girl washed her hands to prevent infection with parasites

These are geohelminths, whose eggs develop and live in the soil for a long time. The route of infection is oral. This occurs when in contact with soil, when drinking untreated water, eating vegetables and fruits contaminated with feces. Often, whip -like worms are detected. It is the causative agent of trichocephalosis. They have thin bodies that resemble hair. The back of the parasite thickens.

These helminths reach a size of 55 cm and are parasitic in the large intestine. Up to 30% of the population is infected with tapeworms. These are geohelminths, which are common especially in countries with warm climates. They are called crooked heads. These worms are parasitic only on humans. Their body length reaches 14 mm. Nekators can live up to 15 years, while tapeworms can live up to 8 years.

Representative of tapeworms

Doctors often have to deal with tapeworms. They are called cestodes. The peculiarity of this type of worm is that its body is divided into segments. This group includes a wide variety of tapeworms (dwarfs, cows and pigs), as well as a wide range of tapeworms. In children under 14 years of age, the causative agent of hymenolepiasis is often found. This is a dwarf tapeworm.

This type of helminth has the following special characteristics:

  • up to 5 cm;
  • parasites mainly in the intestines;
  • has head (scolex), neck, body (strobila), 4 suction cups and hooks;
  • divided into segments;
  • fully developed in the human body.

Along with cream worms, dwarf tapeworms belong to contact helminths. Parasite eggs can be spread by insects (flies). There are types of cestodes that reach 20 m or more. An interesting representative is the broad tapeworm. It is the causative agent of diphyllobothriasis. These worms belong to the group of biohelminths.

To complete its life cycle and transform into an adult, it needs to enter intermediate host organisms (fish and crustaceans). The peculiarity of this parasite is that long stay in the human body causes persistent anemia due to lack of vitamin B12. Diphyllobothriasis often affects people who love fish. These parasites affect people living near freshwater bodies and fishing. Extensive tapeworms can live in the human intestine for 20 years or more. Animals (cats, dogs, bears) can also act as end owners.

Often, infections occur with worms called echinococcus. They live in the human body in the form of larvae. People are intermediate hosts and at the same time dead branches in the expansion of helminths. Infection occurs when eating meat from infected game or pets, unwashed vegetables and fruits. Echinococci are single -chamber and multi -chamber.

wash hands to prevent parasitic infections

The latter are called alveococci. These cestodes are more often localized in the liver and lungs, forming cysts. They are bubbles with liquid and scolexes (heads) of parasites. Massive liver damage can cause tissue compression. If the cyst membrane ruptures, there is a risk of shock. There are other types of helminths from the cestode group: pig and pig tapeworms. They are the causative agents of teniasis and teniarinchosis.

Trematode worms

Only a doctor knows what a worm is. Flukes (trematodes) are very common. These include schistosomes, fascioles, and feline flukes. This type of helminths has the following characteristics:

  • small size;
  • equipped with suction cup;
  • leaf -shaped or round (except schistosomes).

The following flux groups are distinguished:

  • blood;
  • hepatic;
  • pulmonary;
  • usus.

Often, these parasites do not infect the intestines, but other organs. Worm infections such as schistosomes can cause damage to the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder), liver, and other organs. More than 300 million people are infected with schistosomes. This is a small parasite (up to 2 cm) with an elongated body. Men get sick more often than women.

Schistosomes affect the veins, kidneys, bladder, ureters, and abdominal organs. They eat blood. Schistosomes are biohelminths. They grow inside the bodies of freshwater mollusks. Their peculiarity is the ability to leave the vessels actively and excreted with metabolic products (urine and feces) into the environment. Schistosomiasis causes cystitis, anemia, lymphadenopathy, liver, kidney and genital injuries.

Types of parasites that are rare in the human body include fasciola (hepatic and giant fluke). Some individuals reach a size of 10 cm. A person is infected by a sick herbivore by eating while eating salads and vegetables that grow next to stagnant bodies of water. Raw water can also be a contagious factor.

Fascioles are hermaphrodites. They affect the bile ducts, leading to the development of cholestasis and liver fibrosis. In severe cases, hepatitis or cholecystitis occurs. Among the endemic worms of humans are fake cats. It causes opisthorchiasis. The reason is eating infected fish.

Flesh -born worms

Not everyone knows what types of worms are spread through meat. This group includes worms such as pig and pig tapeworms, echinococcus, Trichinella. Pathologies such as trichinosis can lead to serious consequences. It is a disease caused by small roundworms. Trichinella enters the human body through food.

children take medicine to get rid of parasites

It is dangerous to consume the following products:

  • kebab;
  • games (bear meat, wild boar);
  • pork;
  • homemade sausages;
  • homemade bacon;
  • steaks and rare meats;
  • bacon;
  • brisket;
  • hams.

Not recommended to eat the flesh of walruses, seals and nutria. Risk groups include hunters, tourists, ranchers and people who do not cook well or do not cook meat well enough. Trichinosis is characterized by severe allergic reactions, edema and muscle damage. In difficult situations, fatal outcomes are possible.

Meat is a contagious factor in pig and pig tapeworms. People are infected by eating pork or beef, which contains Finns helminths. This is a form of intermediate parasite (larval) development. Adult pig tapeworm reaches a length of 4 m, and cattle - 20 m.

The following risk factors for infection with teniasis and teniarinhoses are distinguished:

  • lack of veterinary supervision;
  • poor heat treatment of meat;
  • livestock breeding (cattle, pigs);
  • unclean conditions;
  • infection with cysticercus water.

Usually, only 1 adult tapeworm lives in a sick person's gut. Even so, parasites can cause digestive disorders and intestinal obstruction. The presence of these helminths in humans can be detected by examining feces. The characteristic of the cow tapeworm is that its part during bowel emptying is able to crawl out and move actively.

The herbivores themselves are infected by eating grass contaminated with the feces of sick animals. Finns (cysticercus) are formed in the bodies of livestock (pigs and cattle). When buying and cutting meat, they can be easily seen. They are round and yellow. Someone infected with bovine tapeworm is harmless to others.

Fish -borne helminths

There are several types of worms that can be infected by eating inadequately cooked or fried fish. The human body needs different products. Millions of people around the world consume freshwater fish, caviar and milk. They are at risk of contracting diphyllobothriasis and opisthorchiasis.

In some areas, widespread tapeworms and cat varieties are endemic worms. The reason is active fishing and fish infections. Opisthorchiasis infects up to 75% of the population. These parasites also infect animals (cats, foxes, dogs). Infection occurs when eating semi -mature fish (goldfish, bream, roach, ide), infected with parasitic larvae.

Risk factors include rapid frying of infected raw materials, consumption of salted, dried or raw fish, caviar, kebabs. The mechanism of infection is food. Fluke flukes belong to the group of flukes. The length of this helminth does not exceed 2 cm. These worms cause bile stasis, inflammation of the pancreas, hepatitis, dyskinesia.

abdominal palpation to detect parasites

If left untreated, the chances of developing cancer and cirrhosis increase. Fish can cause diphyllobothriasis. This is cestodosis caused by widespread tapeworms. Infection with these worms occurs when infected fish from freshwater bodies are eaten. The most dangerous are ruff, pike, perch, pike perch, burbot. All of these are predatory fish. The second middle host of tapeworms is crustaceans.

These worms live in the small intestine of humans and some animals feed on fish with tapeworm larvae. Unlike the causative agent of opisthorchiasis, this helminth affects the intestines, causing atrophy of the mucous layer. Anemia often develops. Diphillbotriosis mainly affects adults. Risk groups include people who have fishermen in their families and lovers of dried and lightly salted fish.

Worms that affect the skin

There are helminths that affect the skin and soft tissues. This group includes rishta (the causative agent of dracunculiasis). This is a nematode up to 120 cm in size. It affects subcutaneous tissue and intermuscular tissue. A person is infected by drinking dirty water or taking a bath. The parasite enters the intestine and then into the subcutaneous tissue.

When helminths become sexually mature, they release special substances that corrode the skin. At this point, an ulcerative defect forms, in which the parasite shows larvae. This occurs when in contact with water. Such patients experience severe itching. Rishta is more common in tropical countries. Cyclops (freshwater crustaceans) are intermediate hosts.

There are worms that can attack human skin freely when in contact with water. This includes intestinal acne. The main mechanism of infection is percutaneous. Parasitic larvae damage the skin and get into the blood. Risk factors for infection include walking on the ground barefoot, swimming in muddy waters, and doing agricultural work.

How to get rid of various types of helminths

Physicians should treat patients after laboratory and instrumental studies. Antihelminthic drugs are selected depending on the type of worm.

Many drugs kill and remove various types of helminths from the body. Almost always, doctors prescribe drugs with a broad spectrum of action, because even after detecting parasite eggs in the feces, it is very difficult to determine its species.

If an infected person (in case of hymenolepiasis or enterobiasis) lives with someone in the same apartment, then examination and treatment of these people is required.

Each antelmintic drug not only has indications, but also contraindications.

Medicine alone is not enough. Some types of parasitic worms require surgery. With echinococcosis, the cyst is removed. Surgery is also required if there are parasites in the heart and brain. Some helminths require adherence to hygiene and sanitation measures.

They are carried out after treatment and while taking medication. To get rid of cream worms, you need to change underwear every day, wash and iron them, wear tight swimming trunks, wash the floor and wipe all household items.

Thus, there are a large number of different parasitic worms that inhabit the human body.