Atlas of livestock parasites
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Cysticercus cellulosae



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Cysticercus cellulosae

Adult tapeworm is Taenia solium.
Armed tapeworm of man, pork bladderworm.

General Description:
The definitive host of this parasite is man. Pigs serve as the intermediary host. In the pig the parasites appear as small, fluid-filled cysts containing an armed scolex in the muscles and other organs of pigs. Man can also act as an intermediary host for this parasite.

Life Cycle:
Eggs which are liberated from the gravid proglottids of the tapeworm are ingested by the pigs and an embryo is liberated in the intestine. The immature forms penetrate the gut wall and are carried in the blood first to the liver and later to different other organs. The organs of preference are muscles, but the bladderworms can also be found in the central nervous system. Man is infected by eating inadequately cooked infected pork containing viable cysticerci. Adults develop in man in 5 to 12 weeks.

Adults in small intestine of man. Cysticerci in striated muscles of pigs, brain, eye, lung, liver and kidney.

Geographical Distribution:
Rare in countries with adequate meat inspection. Common in certain regions in Latin America, southern Africa, Southeast Asia and India.

Inspection of pig carcasses for Cysticercus cellulosae is time consuming and expensive. Carcasses containing cysticercus are condemned. Humans infected with Taenia solium tapeworms may be unaffected or have loss of appetite and diarrhea. Those people infected with the cysticercus may show signs which vary with the localization of the parasites.

Effect on Host:
Full grown cysticerci are 10 x 20 mm and their effect on the host depends on their location. Paralysis of the tongue, stiffness and convulsions have been described in pigs infected with this parasite.

Diagnostic Information:
Detection in vivo may be done by examination of the tongue and the eyes. Detection during necropsy or meat inspection is confirmed by a microscopical examination. Infected humans may show proglottids or eggs in feces.

Pigs should be maintained completely isolated of any contact with human feces. Meat inspection and incineration of infected carcasses is of vital importance in the control of the infection with C. cellulosae.


Cysticercus: cellolosae in brain
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Cysticercus: cellulosae
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Cysticercus: cellulosae in eye
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Cysticercus: cellulosae in muscle
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