Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.


Tapeworm Infestation Follow-up

  • Author: Lisandro Irizarry, MD, MPH, FACEP; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
Updated: Jul 28, 2015


Potential complications of tapeworm infestation include the following:



The cure rate for tapeworm infestation is greater than 95% in patients who receive appropriate treatment.

The prognosis for systemic cysts depends on the location of the cysts.


Patient Education

This includes the following:

  • Proper cooking of beef, pork, and fish
  • Proper freezing of meat or fish
  • Fecal-oral precautions with good hand washing
  • Treatment of infected dogs and prevention of fleas
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Lisandro Irizarry, MD, MPH, FACEP Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center

Lisandro Irizarry, MD, MPH, FACEP is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Medical Toxicology, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Kim A Guishard, MD Vice Chairman, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wycroft Heights Medical Center

Kim A Guishard, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Emergency Physicians, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Eddy S Lang, MDCM, CCFP(EM), CSPQ Associate Professor, Senior Researcher, Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine; Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, McGill University Faculty of Medicine, Canada

Eddy S Lang, MDCM, CCFP(EM), CSPQ is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Emergency Physicians, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of South Carolina School of Medicine; Attending Physician, Clinical Instructor, Compliance Officer, Department of Emergency Medicine, Palmetto Richland Hospital

Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Emergency Medicine, South Carolina Medical Association, Columbia Medical Society, South Carolina College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Medical Association, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Chief Editor for Medscape.

Additional Contributors

Richard S Krause, MD Senior Clinical Faculty/Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Buffalo State University of New York School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Richard S Krause, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American Academy of Emergency Medicine, American College of Emergency Physicians, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


The authors and editors of Medscape Reference gratefully acknowledge the contributions of previous author, Raquel Mora, MD, to the development and writing of this article.

  1. Eom KS, Rim HJ. Morphologic descriptions of Taenia asiatica sp. n. Korean J Parasitol. March 1993. 31:1-6. [Medline].

  2. Del Brutto OH. Neurocysticercosis. Semin Neurol. 2005 Sep. 25(3):243-51. [Medline].

  3. Del Brutto OH, Santibanez R, Noboa CA, Aguirre R, Diaz E, Alarcon TA. Epilepsy due to neurocysticercosis: analysis of 203 patients. Neurology. 1992 Feb. 42(2):389-92. [Medline].

  4. Ndimubanzi PC, Carabin H, Budke CM, Nguyen H, Qian YJ, Rainwater E, et al. A systematic review of the frequency of neurocyticercosis with a focus on people with epilepsy. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010 Nov 2. 4(11):e870. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  5. Del Brutto OH, Rajshekhar V, White AC Jr, Tsang VC, Nash TE, Takayanagui OM, et al. Proposed diagnostic criteria for neurocysticercosis. Neurology. 2001 Jul 24. 57(2):177-83. [Medline].

  6. Stefanic S, Shaikenov BS, Deplazes P, Dinkel A, Torgerson PR, Mathis A. Polymerase chain reaction for detection of patent infections of Echinococcus granulosus ("sheep strain") in naturally infected dogs. Parasitol Res. 2004 Mar. 92(4):347-51. [Medline].

  7. Craig P, Ito A. Intestinal cestodes. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2007 Oct. 20(5):524-32. [Medline].

  8. Garcia HH, Del Brutto OH, Nash TE, White AC Jr, Tsang VC, Gilman RH. New concepts in the diagnosis and management of neurocysticercosis (Taenia solium). Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Jan. 72(1):3-9. [Medline].

  9. Garcia HH, Gonzalez AE, Gilman RH. Diagnosis, treatment and control of Taenia solium cysticercosis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Oct. 16(5):411-9. [Medline].

  10. Kumar H, Jain K, Jain R. A study of prevalence of intestinal worm infestation and efficacy of anthelminthic drugs. Med J Armed Forces India. 2014 Apr. 70(2):144-8. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  11. Matthaiou DK, Panos G, Adamidi ES, Falagas ME. Albendazole versus praziquantel in the treatment of neurocysticercosis: a meta-analysis of comparative trials. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2008 Mar 12. 2(3):e194. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  12. Otte WM, Singla M, Sander JW, Singh G. Drug therapy for solitary cysticercus granuloma: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurology. 2013 Jan 8. 80(2):152-62. [Medline]. [Full Text].

  13. Abba K, Ramaratnam S, Ranganathan LN. Anthelmintics for people with neurocysticercosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Mar 17. CD000215. [Medline].

  14. Sinha S, Sharma BS. Intraventricular neurocysticercosis: a review of current status and management issues. Br J Neurosurg. 2012 Jun. 26(3):305-9. [Medline].

  15. Khade P, Lemos RS, Toussaint LG. What is the Utility of Postoperative Antihelminthic Therapy after Resection for Intraventricular Neurocysticercosis?. World Neurosurg. 2011 Nov 7. [Medline].

  16. Morar R, Feldman C. Pulmonary echinococcosis. Eur Respir J. 2003 Jun. 21(6):1069-77. [Medline].

  17. Chen W, Xusheng L. Laparoscopic surgical techniques in patients with hepatic hydatid cyst. Am J Surg. 2007 Aug. 194(2):243-7. [Medline].

  18. Ozturk G, Aydinli B, Yildirgan MI, Basoglu M, Atamanalp SS, Polat KY. Posttraumatic free intraperitoneal rupture of liver cystic echinococcosis: a case series and review of literature. Am J Surg. 2007 Sep. 194(3):313-6. [Medline].

  19. Barnett K, Emder P, Day AS, Selby WS. Tapeworm infestation: a cause of iron deficiency anemia shown by capsule endoscopy. Gastrointest Endosc. 2007 Sep. 66(3):625-7. [Medline].

  20. Bildik N, Cevik A, Altintas M, Ekinci H, Canberk M, Gulmen M. Efficacy of preoperative albendazole use according to months in hydatid cyst of the liver. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar. 41(3):312-6. [Medline].

  21. Carpio A. Neurocysticercosis: an update. Lancet Infect Dis. 2002 Dec. 2(12):751-62. [Medline].

  22. Chrieki M. Echinococcosis--an emerging parasite in the immigrant population. Am Fam Physician. 2002 Sep 1. 66(5):817-20. [Medline].

  23. Christie JD, Garcia LS. Emerging parasitic infections. Clin Lab Med. Dec 2002. 24(3):737-72.

  24. Cox FE. History of human parasitic diseases. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2004 Jun. 18(2):171-88, table of contents. [Medline].

  25. Craig P. Echinococcus multilocularis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Oct. 16(5):437-44. [Medline].

  26. Craig PS, McManus DP, Lightowlers MW, Chabalgoity JA, Garcia HH, Gavidia CM. Prevention and control of cystic echinococcosis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2007 Jun. 7(6):385-94. [Medline].

  27. Falagas ME, Bliziotis IA. Albendazole for the treatment of human echinococcosis: a review of comparative clinical trials. Am J Med Sci. 2007 Sep. 334(3):171-9. [Medline].

  28. Garcia HH, Del Brutto OH. Neurocysticercosis: updated concepts about an old disease. Lancet Neurol. 2005 Oct. 4(10):653-61. [Medline].

  29. Garcia HH, Gonzalez AE, Gilman RH. Diagnosis, treatment and control of Taenia solium cysticercosis. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2003 Oct. 16(5):411-9. [Medline].

  30. Garcia HH, Pretell EJ, Gilman RH, Martinez SM, Moulton LH, Del Brutto OH. A trial of antiparasitic treatment to reduce the rate of seizures due to cerebral cysticercosis. N Engl J Med. 2004 Jan 15. 350(3):249-58. [Medline].

  31. Khuroo MS, Wani NA, Javid G, Khan BA, Yattoo GN, Shah AH, et al. Percutaneous drainage compared with surgery for hepatic hydatid cysts. N Engl J Med. 1997 Sep 25. 337(13):881-7. [Medline].

  32. Kolars JC, Fischer PR. Evaluation of diarrhea in the returned traveler. Prim Care. 2002 Dec. 29(4):931-45. [Medline].

  33. Kraft R. Cysticercosis: an emerging parasitic disease. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jul 1. 76(1):91-6. [Medline].

  34. Loukas A, Hotez PJ. Chemotherapy of helminth infections. Brunton LL, Lazo JS, Parker KL, eds. Goodman & Gilman's Pharmacology. 11th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2006. 1121-1141.

  35. McAdam AJ, Sharpe AH. Infectious diseases. Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N, eds. Kumar, Robbins, and Cotran: Pathologic Basis of Disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2005. 838-8.

  36. Moon TD, Oberhelman RA. Antiparasitic therapy in children. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Jun. 52(3):917-48, viii. [Medline].

  37. Nash TE, Singh G, White AC, Rajshekhar V, Loeb JA, Proaño JV. Treatment of neurocysticercosis: current status and future research needs. Neurology. 2006 Oct 10. 67(7):1120-7. [Medline].

  38. Ong S, Talan DA, Moran GJ, Mower W, Newdow M, Tsang VC. Neurocysticercosis in radiographically imaged seizure patients in U.S. emergency departments. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Jun. 8(6):608-13. [Medline].

  39. Romig T. Epidemiology of echinococcosis. Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2003 Sep. 388(4):209-17. [Medline].

  40. Wallin MT, Kurtzke JF. Neurocysticercosis in the United States: review of an important emerging infection. Neurology. 2004 Nov 9. 63(9):1559-64. [Medline].

  41. White AC, Weller PF. Cestodes. Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. McGraw-Hill; 2005. 1272-7.

  42. Drugs for Parasitic Infections. 3rd ed. New Rochelle, NY: The Medical Letter; 2013.

Adult tapeworm of Dipylidium caninum. Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ultrasonographic appearance of echinococcal cysts (Gharbi type I, World Health Organization [WHO] standardized classification CE1).
Diagram of the Echinococcus life cycle. Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Table 1. Cestodes and Their Hosts
CestodePrimary HostIntermediate Host
T soliumHumansPigs, humans, dogs, cats, sheep
T saginataHumansCattle
HymenolepisHumansHymenolepis nana: None; Hymenolepis diminuta: Rodents
D caninumHumans, dogs, catsFleas on dogs/cats
EchinococcusDogsHumans, sheep, cattle, goats, horses, camel
T multiceps Hares, rabbits, squirrels, humans (rarely)
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.