Tapeworm Infection

A tapeworm is a parasite that lives and feeds in the intestines of humans. This is known as a tapeworm infection. A larval cyst is a juvenile and dormant stage of the tapeworm. It has the ability to survive in different parts of the body. This is referred to as a larval cyst infection.

A tapeworm in the intestines usually causes only minor symptoms. Stomach aches and diarrhea are examples of moderate to severe symptoms. Larval cysts in the brain, liver, lungs, heart, or eyes can cause significant sickness.

Anti-parasitic medications are used to treat tapeworm infections. Antiparasitic medicines and surgery to remove the cyst may be used to treat larval cyst infections. Other medications may be used to ease the symptoms.


While some boys and young men have Klinefelter symptoms as youngsters, some men are unaware of their condition until puberty or adulthood. Because symptoms aren't always apparent, many men are unaware they have it. Symptoms of Klinefelter differ with age and include:

Infections with cystic larvae often have no symptoms. They could show themselves by causing issues with the internal organs, or they might be evident as lumps under your skin.


The eggs of the beef tapeworm can stay alive for months or even years. The eggs hatch in the intestines of the intermediate host, a cow, if it consumes grass that has these eggs on it. The larval stage of the parasite enters the bloodstream and gets attached to the muscles. It creates a cyst, which is a protective shell.

People, the ultimate hosts, can become infected with tapeworms if they consume undercooked meat of infected cows. A tapeworm larval cyst grows into an adult form. The tapeworm clings to the intestinal wall and feeds there. Eggs are produced, which the person passes in their feces. In this case, the person is the ultimate host, while the cow is the intermediate host.

When To See Doctor?

When tapeworm infection symptoms arise, they might differ tremendously, especially in tapeworm larval infections. One may be unaware that the symptoms indicate a tapeworm, but one should always consult a healthcare professional if one is experiencing unusual symptoms. If anyone has reason to suspect a tapeworm, such as recent undercooked food, make sure to discuss it. If you suspect that you have tapeworm segments in your feces, have them examined immediately.

Risk factors

The following factors may enhance the chances of getting tapeworm or larval cyst infection:

Eating raw or undercooked meats

Eating uncooked or raw meat and fish is the most significant risk factor for tapeworm infection. Fish that has been dried or smoked may also have larval cysts.

Poor hygiene

The danger of contracting and transmitting infections rises with insufficient handwashing. Fruits and vegetables left unwashed may also contain tapeworm eggs.

Lack of sanitation and sewage

The risk that humans will expose cattle to tapeworm eggs is increased by the absence of sanitation and sewage for human waste. People are now more likely to consume contaminated meat as a result.

Lack of clean water

Lack of access to clean water for drinking, bathing, and food preparation increases the chance of coming into contact with tapeworm eggs.

High-risk regions

A risk factor is living in or visiting areas with high infection rates.

Diagnosis of tapeworm infection

A stool sample is tested by a medical professional for tapeworm infection in the intestines. In a lab test, tapeworm pieces or eggs could be discovered. Individuals are allowed to provide a sample on different days.

Diagnosis of larval cyst infection

Imaging exam

Imaging tests are used by providers to identify larval cysts. These could consist of ultrasonography, MRI, or CT scans. Before the cysts create symptoms, larval cysts are sometimes discovered during an imaging test for another disease.

Blood test

Performing a blood test can help doctors confirm a diagnosis. Immune system antibodies to the larval cysts may be discovered in a blood sample by a lab examination.

By examining the feces in a lab, medical professionals can identify intestinal tapeworms. If there are any tapeworm eggs or worm segments, the lab can find them and determine the type of worm you have based on specific features. All of them are treated with the same medication, although the dosage depends on the species. The doctor will want to perform a cysticercosis test if patients have the pork tapeworm in addition.

The healthcare provider might start with a blood test to look for invasive larval infection. The body's production of antibodies against the larvae will be revealed by the blood test. The doctor will use an imaging test to find the cysts if the blood test is positive or if there is another reason to suspect a larval infection. MRI and CT scans are useful for examining the tissues inside.

Treatment for tapeworm infection

Anti-parasitic medications are used by doctors to treat an intestinal tapeworm infection. These consist of:

  • Albendazole
  • Praziquantel
  • Nitazoxanide

These medications eliminate the tapeworm but not its eggs. After using the bathroom, one must thoroughly wash the hands with soap and water. This guard against the transfer of tapeworm eggs to other people and to you. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled with the healthcare provider. To determine whether the treatment is effective, they examine samples of stool.

Treatments for larval cyst infection

The presence or effects of a larval cyst infection will determine how to treat it. Treatments commonly consist of

Anti-parasitic drugs

For the treatment of larval cysts in the brain or central nervous system, praziquantel and albendazole are employed.


Inflammation and other immune system activity that could harm organs, muscles, or other tissues can be reduced with corticosteroids.


A surgeon will usually remove a larval cyst.

Surgery alternative

When surgery is not an option, another type of treatment may be performed. A doctor drains some fluid from the cyst using a small needle. To kill the cyst, they inject medication into it. The cyst's whole fluid is then removed.

Other remedies for managing issues and symptoms could be:

Anti-epileptic medicine

These medications aid in preventing or halting seizures caused by larval brain cysts.


The extra fluid in the brain may be drained using a tube called a shunt.

Tapeworm Infection Dos and Don’ts

Follow its do’s and don’ts to manage or minimize its symptoms.

Do’s Don’ts
Clean the hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Eat raw or undercooked meat
Wash kitchen utensils well Miss the medication
Wash fruits and vegetables properly Be unhygienic
Treat if your dogs get infected Have dried and smoked fish
Drink clean water Have poor handwashing

Tapeworm Infection Care at Medicover

At Medicover hospitals, we strive to provide the best possible care for our patients by utilizing cutting-edge treatments and technologies. Our General Medicine department is dedicated to promoting overall health by offering the greatest healthcare services available, offered by highly qualified physicians and nurses.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is a tapeworm infection?

A tapeworm infection, also known as taeniasis, is caused by ingesting the larvae or eggs of tapeworms. These parasites can live in the intestines of humans and animals, and they can lead to various symptoms and health issues.

2.How do people get infected with tapeworms?

Most often, you can catch tapeworms if you eat meat that isn't fully cooked or still raw, and it comes from animals that have tapeworms, like pigs, cows, or fish. The tapeworm larvae present in the meat can then develop into adult worms in the intestines.

3.What are the common symptoms of a tapeworm infection?

Symptoms can vary, but common signs of tapeworm infection include abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, weakness, and segments of the tapeworm in the stool. Some individuals may not exhibit any symptoms at all.

4.Can tapeworm infections affect children, and how are they treated in pediatric cases?

Yes, tapeworm infections can affect children. Treatment for pediatric cases is adjusted based on the child's age, weight, and specific infection type, with the guidance of a specialist.

5.Can tapeworms move throughout the body?

Tapeworms generally stay in the intestines, but in rare cases, larvae can migrate to other organs, causing conditions such as cysticercosis. This occurs when humans accidentally ingest tapeworm eggs, leading to the formation of cysts in various tissues.

6.How is a tapeworm infection diagnosed?

Diagnosis typically involves a stool sample analysis to detect tapeworm eggs or segments. In cases of suspected cysticercosis, imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs may be used to locate cysts in the body.

7.What is the treatment for tapeworm infection?

Medications like praziquantel or niclosamide are commonly prescribed to treat tapeworm infections. These drugs help to kill the adult tapeworms in the intestines. The treatment method will be chosen by your doctor based on the type of tapeworm you have.

8.How can tapeworm infections be prevented?

To prevent tapeworm infections, ensure proper cooking of meats to kill any potential larvae. Wash hands and food thoroughly, especially after handling raw meat. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked fish, pork, or beef. Regular deworming of pets and maintaining good hygiene practices are also important.

9.Are tapeworm infections serious?

In most cases, tapeworm infections are not serious and can be treated effectively with medication. However, complications can arise if larvae migrate to other organs, causing cysts. Severe cases can lead to abdominal pain, neurological symptoms, and other health issues.

10.Can tapeworm infections spread from person to person?

Tapeworm infections are generally not spread directly from person to person. However, poor hygiene practices can lead to contamination of food and water with tapeworm eggs, which could indirectly lead to infections in others.

11.Can I travel if I have a tapeworm infection?

If you are undergoing treatment and your symptoms are under control, travel might be possible. It's important to listen to your doctor's advice and keep clean to stop the infection from spreading and avoid making things worse.