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Taenia Infection Treatment & Management

  • Author: Sowmya Nanjappa, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
 
Updated: Oct 06, 2015
 

Medical Care

Most patients with intestinal Taenia infection are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. If adult tapeworms are detected in the stools, anthelmintic therapy usually suffices. Asymptomatic cysticercosis requires no treatment.

Treatment for symptomatic neurocysticercosis (NCC) is controversial and challenging.[24] If anthelmintic therapy is chosen, albendazole[25] , praziquantel, or both[26, 27] is the drug of choice. Because these agents provoke an anti-inflammatory response in the CNS, start the patient on high-dose glucocorticosteroids.

Ocular, ventricular, and spinal lesions may require surgical treatment because treatment with anthelmintic drugs can provoke irreversible drug-induced inflammation.

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Surgical Care

Surgery may be needed if intestinal taeniid infection causes complications such as acute surgical abdomen, appendicitis, or obstructed bile or pancreatic ducts.

Surgical intervention may also be required for cysticercosis and NCC (see Cysticercosis, Neurocysticercosis).[28] See also endoscopic removal of neurocysticercosis.

Surgical excision of ocular cysticercosis is the preferred method of treatment.

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Consultations

Consult with an infectious diseases specialist for help with a questionable diagnosis, help eradicating the organism, and information on public health issues.

Consult a neurologist for the management of NCC manifestations.

Consult an ophthalmologist for cases involving ocular cysticercosis.

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Diet

Other than adequately cooking pork and beef products to prevent reinfection, taeniid infections require no specific diet.

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Activity

No activity restrictions are necessary.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Sowmya Nanjappa, MD Assistant Member, Department of Internal Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center; Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Oncologic Sciences (Joint Appointment), University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine

Sowmya Nanjappa, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Society of Hospital Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Russell W Steele, MD Clinical Professor, Tulane University School of Medicine; Staff Physician, Ochsner Clinic Foundation

Russell W Steele, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Immunologists, American Pediatric Society, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Louisiana State Medical Society, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Ashir Kumar, MD, MBBS FAAP, Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Ashir Kumar, MD, MBBS is a member of the following medical societies: Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Leslie L Barton, MD Professor Emerita of Pediatrics, University of Arizona College of Medicine

Leslie L Barton, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of Pediatric Program Directors, Infectious Diseases Society of America, and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Michael D Nissen, MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA Associate Professor in Biomolecular, Biomedical Science & Health, Griffith University; Director of Infectious Diseases and Unit Head of Queensland Paediatric Infectious Laboratory, Sir Albert Sakzewski Viral Research Centre, Royal Children's Hospital

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Brain MRI that reveals a cystic lesion containing a dead parasite with surrounding vasogenic edema on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging. MRI is of a 16-year-old Guatemalan adolescent with first-time afebrile seizure and normal EEG, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and examination findings.
 
 
 
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