Also found in: Medical.



a helminthic disease caused by the parasitizing of tapeworms (Diphyllobothrium) in the organism of man and certain animals.

Diphyllobothriasis in man. Man is most often infested with the so-called broad tapeworm, which may reach a length of 10-12 m. Sexually mature helminths are parasitic in the small intestine. In certain diphyllobothriases the larvae, or plerocercoids, inhabit the subcutaneous tissue and viscera, causing the disease known as sparganosis. Infection is acquired by eating fresh-salted caviar and raw or semiraw fish, the musculature and viscera of which contain plerocercoids. In diphyllobothriasis there is mechanical and toxic stimulation of the nerve endings in the intestine. Allergic reactions develop as a result of entry of the tapeworm’s metabolic products into the sick person’s blood. Sometimes pernicious anemia can develop with diphyllobothriasis.

Diphyllobothriasis is manifested by weakness, tachycardia, loss of appetite, stomach pains, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, and insomnia. Preventive measures include stopping the polluting of bodies of water with fecal matter and not eating raw fish or insufficiently roasted or cooked fish, as well as not eating freshly salted caviar of freshwater fish. Treatment involves administration of anthelminthic drugs.


Diphyllobothriasis in animals. Diphyllobothriasis is observed in fur-bearing animals, domestic animals, and wild carnivores. In the USSR it has been recorded in the Baltic Region; Leningrad, Arkhangel’sk, and Tiumen’ oblasts; the Karelian and Yakut ASSRs; Chukchi Peninsula; Sakhalin Island; and certain other regions. Infestation by the broad tapeworm in dogs, foxes, and arctic foxes lasts from one month to 1½ years. In damaging the intestinal wall the parasites disrupt the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. When the young of furbearing animals are infected with diphyllobothriasis, various disturbances of the nervous system (sleepiness, fits, and so forth) are often observed. The development of diphyllobothriasis anemia is a result of endogenous avitaminosis, that is, a deficiency of vitamin B12 and, possibly, folic acid within the organism of the sick animals. Treatment includes the use of arecoline, extract of male fern, and squash seeds. Diphyllobothriasis can be prevented by cooking, vacuum drying, freezing, and salting fish used for feeding animals.

References in periodicals archive ?
Diagnosing ancient diphyllobothriasis from Chinchorro mummies.
Molecular identification of the Diphyllobothrium species causing diphyllobothriasis in Chilean patients.
A case of Diphyllobothrium latum infection with a brief review of diphyllobothriasis in the Republic of Korea.
Diphyllobothriasis, or fish tapeworm disease, was traditionally associated with gefilte fish preparation by Jewish women; approximately 10% of people in Scandinavia are reportedly infected with Diphyllobothrium (Fleming et al.
Imported diphyllobothriasis in Switzerland: molecular methods to define a clinical case of Diphyllobotluium infection as Diphyllobothrium dendiiticum, August 2010.
Diphyllobothriasis associated with eating raw Pacific salmon.
A case of human diphyllobothriasis after eating Plecoglossus altivelis [in Chinese].
Diphyllobothriasis nihonkaiense was once endemic to coastal provinces of central and northern Japan, where salmon fisheries thrived.
Recent Surge of Pacific Salmon-associated Diphyllobothriasis
These cases of diphyllobothriasis are noteworthy because this parasite was totally unknown to clinicians and parasitologists in Brazil, where it does not appear to have an endemic life cycle (5-9).
Assuming the epidemioiogic information presented here explains the appearance of the fish tapeworm outbreak in Brazil, it would be preferable, in terms of sanitation, for the Chilean aquaculture industry to stop growing salmon smelt in the lakes in the areas where diphyllobothriasis is endemic in humans and animals (11-17).
Diphyllobothriasis is an intestinal parasitosis acquired by eating raw or partially cooked fish containing Diphyllobothrium spp.