• Decryption of online tests - urine, blood, general and biochemical.
  • What do bacteria and urine mean in urinalysis?
  • How to understand the analysis of the child?
  • Features of the MRI analysis
  • Special tests, ECG and ultrasound
  • Norms during pregnancy and values ​​of deviations ..
Decryption of analyzes

Helminthiasis: symptoms and treatment in children and adults, prevention of helminth infections

Helminths are a group of parasitic worms that settle and reproduce in the human body. “Helminthos” in Greek means “worm”. The symptoms, causes, methods of treatment and prevention of helminth infections are described in detail in this publication.


Helminthiasis - What is it?

In simple terms, helminthiasis is the generic name for a human disease caused by helminths. The names of helminth infections depend on the type of parasite, for example, trichinae cause the development of trichinosis, ascaris - ascariasis, pinworms provoke enterobiasis.


Among the worms there are round, flat, tapeworms, and often occurring in addition to the above, are:

  • echinococcus;
  • pork and bull tapeworms, or chains;
  • noncators;
  • whipworm;
  • hookworm;
  • multiceps;
  • cysticercus;
  • wide ribbon;
  • alveococcus;
  • dwarf tapeworm.

The life cycle of all helminth worms consists of three stages - eggs, larvae, and sexually mature, or vegetative, individuals. The first two more often develop in the organism of intermediate hosts, for example, fish, cats, livestock, or in soil and water, and when ingested, the third stage appears, and the worm fully functions and reproduces. A person can act for the parasite as the final and intermediate owner.

Helminths can settle not only in the intestines, but also in other organs, affecting the liver, kidneys, blood vessels, pancreas, lungs, brain. Depending on where the parasite is located, various symptoms of helminthiasis occur.

Parasitic pathology can occur in a latent or severe acute form, with serious complications and a threat to life. In the body of one person can live several types of worms.

Ways of Helminthiasis Infection

helminthiasis infection

The direct cause of helminthiasis is ingestion of a larva or egg of a parasitic worm. This is facilitated by the factors under which conditions are created for the parasite to penetrate the human body:

  1. Non-observance of personal hygiene - neglect of washing hands before eating and cooking, use of dirty or poorly washed fruits, vegetables and berries, poor sanitation in a residential or work environment, contact with pets without taking precautions (washing hands, etc.), drinking water from reservoirs.
  2. Insufficient processing of food during cooking - consuming raw milk or raw water, thermally poorly processed fish or meat.
  3. Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, dysbacteriosis.
  4. Weakened immunity, for example, during pregnancy, in the elderly and children.

Enterobiasis, ascariasis, trichocephalosis, teniidoz, ankilostomidoz are transmitted from person to person. The source of opisthorchiasis, schistosomiasis, dracunculiasis, fascioliasis can also be animals.

Trichinella, alveococci and echinococcus are transmitted only from animals.

Signs and symptoms of helminthiasis

Clinical manifestations of helminth infections are diverse, depending on the specific pathogen and its localization in the body. They can arise from different systems and are often regarded as signs of other diseases of internal organs. The symptoms of helminthiasis in adults and children are different in the acute and chronic stages of the pathology.

The acute form of helminthiasis lasts from 2 to 8 weeks after invasion has penetrated into the body, after which it becomes chronic, which can last from 3-6 months to several years.

The acute stage is characterized by an increase in the activity of the immune system in response to the entry of foreign objects, and the symptoms for most helminth infections at this time are similar:

  • high fever and sweating;
  • puffiness;
  • rash;
  • swollen lymph nodes;
  • soreness of joints and muscles;
  • bloating;
  • diarrhea or constipation;
  • spleen and liver enlarged;
  • a blood test shows an increase in eosinophil levels (a type of white blood cell).

symptoms of helminthiasis in children Symptoms of chronic helminth infection becomes more specific and is due to the localization of the parasite. For example, when helminths are found in the intestines, abdominal pain, abnormal stools, and meteorism appear.

The course of the disease is often accompanied by apathy, depressive mood. It happens that the signs are absent or weakly expressed, and noticeable manifestations occur only if the worm is large enough (wide tapeworm, pork or bovine tapeworm).

Specific symptoms of helminth infections:

  • development of iron deficiency anemia - with ankilostomidoz;
  • prolapse of the rectum, hemorrhagic colitis - with trichuriasis;
  • swelling due to stagnation of the lymph, allergies, inflammation of the lymphatic vessels - with filariasis;
  • pancreatitis, hepatitis, cholangitis, neurological disorders - with fascioliasis, opisthorchiasis;
  • excretion of blood after urination - with urinary schistosomiasis;
  • pancreatitis, intestinal obstruction, jaundice - with ascariasis.

Asymptomatic course is characteristic of cysticercosis, echinococcosis and alveococcosis, even in the case of significant damage to the internal organs. Only with cysticercosis may appear symptoms of a neurological nature (apathy, convulsions, mood swings, etc.).

The danger of the hidden course of the disease is that large parasitic cysts without their timely removal, can cause organ rupture.

This leads to internal bleeding and the ingress of a significant amount of worms into the bloodstream and, as a result, to peritonitis, anaphylactic shock, pleurisy and other complications.

Signs of Adult Helminthiasis

Signs of Adult Helminthiasis

Characteristic signs of helminthiasis in adults manifest themselves in the form of several syndromes:

  1. Toxic-allergic, occurring in the acute phase - aching joints and muscle pain, fever, puffiness and rash, less often pneumonia, myocarditis, hepatitis, encephalopathy.
  2. Local lesion - the symptoms of a particular organ in which the parasites settled.
  3. Malnutrition, in which the helminths absorb most of the nutrients ingested with food. As a result, weight loss, anemia, avitaminosis, protein deficiency are observed.
  4. Immunosuppression - a sharp decrease in resistance to infections.

Read more about the symptoms of worms in humans .

Features of the symptoms of helminthiasis in children

In childhood, the risk of helminth infection is higher because:

  • the child is in contact with many peers during games, learning;
  • children's immunity is not fully formed;
  • personal hygiene skills are not developed.

Symptoms of helminthiasis in children are intoxication of the body, allergic manifestations and susceptibility to infections. Enterobiasis occurs most often in childhood, and the child may complain of itching in the area of ​​the anus.

Intestinal obstruction develops when infected with ascaris, and this is the second most common parasitic worms that affect children. Trichocephalosis and ankilostomiasis, which are characterized by signs of fever, cough, and stool disorders, are less commonly diagnosed.

The rest of the symptoms of helminthiasis in children is similar to the manifestations in adults.

Diagnosis of Helminitis Infection

Morphological laboratory diagnosis of helminthiasis involves the study of tissue pieces taken by biopsy or puncture of an organ. It is rarely used - in cases where parasites are present in the thickness of tissues - in case of teniasis, cysticercosis, trichinosis.

It also applies serological, clinical and immunological methods, including ultrasound of organs, urine and blood tests, x-rays, computed tomography, ELISA and others.

Parasitological methods are always used, they allow you to identify a variety of worms that caused pathology. They are the most informative, with their help eggs, larvae and vegetative individuals of worms are found in intestinal mucus, feces, bile, blood, urine, gastric juice, vomit, sputum.

These biological fluids are examined under a microscope, and when parasites or their fragments are detected, the diagnosis is confirmed. Additional diagnostics are rarely carried out - only if it was not possible to establish the type of the worm.

The most common source for analysis is feces, which are studied by various methods:

  1. Kato - is used in most cases for the detection of helminth eggs;
  2. Richie sedimentation - to detect schistosomes;
  3. Harada-Mori - to find nekator and hookworm;
  4. Berman - finds stronggiloid larvae.

Analysis of samples of the contents of the duodenum and bile helps to identify parasites localized in the pancreas, liver, bile ducts and upper intestines. They donate blood if there is a suspicion of helminthiasis, and the worms or their eggs in the feces or biological fluids were not detected.

Treatment of helminthiasis in children and adults

Treatment of helminthiasis is aimed at destroying worms that have settled in the body, therefore its main component is antiparasitic agents causing the death of helminths in all phases of their life cycle.

Common types of helminthiasis and drugs used for treatment are listed in the table.

Diagnosis / Drug Pyrantel Albendazole Praziquantel
Enterobiasis + +
Ascariasis +
Tenioz + +
Clonorchosis + +
Echinococcosis +
Trichinosis +
Hookworm + +
Opisthorchiasis +
Schistosomiasis +
Multiple nematodes
Strongyloidiasis +

Diagnosis / Drug Mebendazole Levamisole Piperazine
Enterobiasis + + +
Ascariasis + + +
Tenioz +
Echinococcosis +
Trichinosis +
Hookworm + +
Multiple nematodes +
Strongyloidiasis + +

In addition to anthelmintic drugs for the treatment of helminthiasis, sorbents for intestinal cleansing are required (Polysorb, Activated carbon, Polypefan) and antihistamines for the relief of allergic reactions (Claritin, Zyrtec, Suprastin).

Reception of the latter begins 5 days before the start of the use of antiparasitic agents and is held for another 5 days after its completion.

After a course of treatment with anti-worming drugs, the use of probiotics should be added to sorbents and antihistamines to normalize the intestinal microflora.

Additionally, in the therapy of helminthiasis can be prescribed:

  • means for normalization of arterial pressure, if hypertension develops on the background of the disease;
  • glucocorticosteroids are indicated for severe forms of helminthiasis, when vasculitis, arachnoiditis, myocarditis, and other complications occur;
  • in case of severe intoxication, hemodez, glucose solution, oral ascorbic acid, calcium chloride, vitamin B6 are administered intravenously.

The diet should consist of easily digestible food - vegetables, dairy products, fruits, lean soups and cereals. Before the course of treatment of helminthiasis, a thorough cleaning with soapy water is done at home and bed linen is completely changed. Underwear should be ironed daily with a hot iron.

Helminthiasis prevention measures

prevention of helminthiasis Prevention of helminthiasis in children and adults is to eliminate the conditions that contribute to infection. This is a thorough heat treatment of animal products, the use of only purified or boiled water, washing vegetables, herbs and fruits, personal hygiene.

Twice a year, prophylactic courses for the use of anthelmintic drugs do not interfere, especially if there are animals at home or other risk factors for helminth infections.


The information is provided for information and reference purposes, a professional doctor should diagnose and prescribe treatment. Do not self-medicate. | Contact | Advertise | © 2018 Medic-Attention.com - Health On-Line
Copying materials is prohibited. Editorial site - info @ medic-attention.com