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Intestinal infection by tapeworms of the genus Hymenolepis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a helminthic disease of man, mammals, and some birds; one of the cestodiases. In man, hy-menolepiasis generally results from infection by the dwarf tapeworm, occasionally by the rat tapeworm. Hymenolepiasis is widespread, especially in subtropical and tropical countries; it occurs chiefly in cities. A characteristic of the way the disease spreads is that the incidence is highest in those regions where few or no cases of ascariasis occur.

Children are the chief sufferers, becoming infected after ingesting the parasite’s eggs that are present on dirty toys, hands, and so forth. When the eggs of the dwarf tapeworm reach the small intestine, onchospheres are released from the eggs, and in five to eight days cysticercoids (larvae having a head with suckers) emerge from the onchospheres and attach themselves to the intestinal wall, causing edema of the mucous membrane, disruption of the blood circulation, necrosis, and sometimes hemorrhages into the lumen of the intestine. The segments of the tapeworm mature quickly and release into the lumen numerous eggs that subsequently appear in the stools (19 days after infection). The eggs remain viable for several days in soil and up to a month in water.

Hymenolepiasis is manifested by abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, headache, irascibility, insomnia, retarded development in children, and decreased capacity for work in adults. Treatment consists in administering anthelmintics and, in addition, supporting treatment (vitamins and iron preparations). Prevention consists in observing the rules of personal hygiene at home and in children’s institutions and providing children with nutritional food containing an adequate amount of vitamins.

Hymenolepiasis in poultry. Hymenolepiasis in ducks and geese is very common everywhere; it occurs less often in chickens. The animals become infected in the spring when they eat infested intermediate and reservoir hosts (such as water fleas, gammarids, and pond snails). The cestodes injure the mucous membrane of the intestine and interfere with its peristaltic and secretory activity. If large accumulations of the parasites occur, they may obstruct the intestine. Sick birds grow and develop poorly, and the young sometimes die. The diagnosis is based on the results of dissecting dead birds, when an account is taken of the pathological changes observed.

Kamala, bithionol, and filixan are a few of the agents used to treat the disease. Preventive measures include raising the young and adult birds separately and raising marketable poultry (ducks and geese) on dry land and chickens in cages. Bodies of water are disinfested by keeping birds away from them for one to one and a half years.


Petrochenko, V. I., and G. A. Kotel’nikov. Gel’mintosy ptits. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hymenolepiasis: Atotal of 911.922 people were examined for hymenolepiasis and 664 of them were infected.
Although the prevalence of giardiasis shows a declining trend, it retains its medical importance, while cases of hymenolepiasis are rarely recorded.
The rest of the imported cases were intestinal parasitic diseases such as soil-transmitted helminth infections (ascariasis and trichuriasis), communicable parasitic diseases (enterobiasis, hymenolepiasis, giardiasis, and blastocystosis) and visceral leishmaniasis, all of which have local distribution.
of Zoology, Eosinophils Parvathi Vivek Vardhini College, and Succinate Hyderabad Dehydrogenase as Biomarkers of Hymenolepiasis Dr.
Prevalence ratios for hymenolepiasis and giardiasis were, respectively, 0.48 (95% confidence interval: 0.34-0.68) and 0.31 (95% confidence interval: 0.18-0.54), indicating that children <10 years old constitute the most affected age group for these parasitic diseases.
Interestingly, when comparing data for children below age 10 in 1987 and 2005, the present study revealed a much higher prevalence of hymenolepiasis.
Although this survey identified hymenolepiasis as the major helminth problem in the population, the drug regime prescribed by the Indian health service was clearly not adequate to eliminate cestodes (AmatoNeto et al., 1990; MeCraeken et al., 1992; Horton, 2000; Juan et al., 2000).
Table 6-7 Less Common Zoonotic Cestodes Predominant Cestode Disease Signs in People Dipylidium Dipylidiosis Infection is typically caninum asymptomatic; heavy infections may cause abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss Hymenolepis nana Hymenolepiasis Large numbers of cestodes can cause atrophy of the intestinal villi and inflammation causing abdominal pain and diarrhea Spirometra spp.
(including V cholerae) Giardiasis Amebiasis (Entamoeba histolytica) Leishmaniasis Tuberculosis Brucellosis Leptospirosis Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) Typhus (epidemic, endemic) Relapsing fever, tick and louse-borne Trachoma Intestinal helminth infections (ascariasis, enterobiasis, trichuriasis) Hookworm infection (ancylostomiasis) Tapeworm infection (taeniasis) Strongyloidiasis Sandfly fever Other arboviral fevers Dengue fever Boutonneuse fever Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) Korean hemorrhagic fever Rift Valley fever Viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D, E) Meningococcal meningitis Syphilis (endemic, Bejel) Anthrax Q fever Rabies Plague Malaria Onchocerciasis Schistosomiasis Dracunculiasis Hymenolepiasis
According to official statistics, the most common infestations are enterobiasis (79%), ascariasis (14%), hymenolepiasis (6%), echinococcosis (1.4%), and taeniasis (0.3%).
The health department reported decline in incidence of other parasitic diseases, such as hymenolepiasis , teniasis, tick-borne encephalitis.