Taeniasis is a tapeworm infection.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Tapeworm infection is caused by eating the raw or undercooked meat of infected animals. Beef generally carry Taenia saginata (T. saginata ). Pigs carry Taenia solium (T. solium). In the human intestine, the young form of the tapeworm from the infected meat (larva) develops into the adult tapeworm — which can grow to longer than 12 feet and can live for years.
Tapeworms have many segments. Each segment is able to produce eggs. Eggs are spread individually or in groups, and can pass out with the stool or through the anus.
Adults and children with pork tapeworm can infect themselves if they have poor hygiene. They can ingest eggs from tapeworm they pick up on their hands while wiping or scratching their anus or the surrounding skin.
Those who are infected can expose other people to T. solium eggs, usually through food handling.
Pictures & ImagesDigestive system organs
Review Date : 8/28/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.