- My little girl is 3 and 1/2 years old and Hymenolepis Nana came out on the co-parasite exam. I read about this parasite, it is part of the group of theses; I also know that the medicine for it is very toxic. I went to the family doctor and recommended the drug ZENTEL for the first time. I already gave him the second dose. The little girl is now complaining of belly pain in the navel area. She coughs and is very bad and was diagnosed with trachea. I know that haunting viruses everywhere, this is the third time I give them an antibiotic. My concern concerns that parasite. Can you tell me more about him? Where is it taken and, especially, are there alternative treatments? What to do?Answer:
Hymenolepis nana is a parasite in the group of cestodes / tapeworms, which are flat segmented worms. Adult worms live in the digestive tract, but larvae can be found in almost any organ. The man can be the definitive host or the intermediate host for tapeworms.
Hymenolepis nana is the only cestode that does not require the intermediate host: both the adult and the larval form develop in the human body.
Hymenolepis nana is the smallest worm of human cestodes; it is about 2 cm long. Proglottes (the body of the cestodes are composed of segments called proglotes) release the eggs, which are immediately infectious and which are eliminated by stool can survive in the external environment for up to 10 days.
Infection with Hymenolepis nana is the most common of the infections with cestodes, being transmitted by fecal-oral route through dirty hands, water and contaminated food (fruits and vegetables not washed) with eggs. It can also be acquired by ingesting insects (especially the ingestion of larval worms and larvae infected with this parasite.
Eggs ingested by a new host penetrate the intestinal mucosa becoming cysticeroid larvae, which migrate back into the intestine, attach to the intestinal wall and mature in 10-12 days becoming adult worm. Also, eggs sometimes break before they are removed through the stool and cause internal self-infection with large amounts of intestinal worms. The life span of a worm is on average 4-10 weeks.
The infection can be asymptomatic or can be manifested by abdominal pain, anorexia (lack of appetite), diarrhea, anal itching. The diagnosis is established by highlighting the co-parasitological examination of eggs of Hymenolepis nana.
Treatment of Hymenolepis nana infection is carried out with Praziquantel, Albendazole (Zentel) or Niclosamide antiparasites; I do not know of any alternative treatment for this infection.
After completion of the treatment, the healing must be confirmed by three negative co-parasitological examinations, between 7-10 days between them. Also to prevent reinfection with Hymenolepis nana or other parasites, rigorous hygiene is recommended: washing hands with soap and water after using the toilet and after reaching fruits and vegetables (which can be contaminated with eggs of Hymenolepis nana or small insects infested with this parasite), washing the consumed foods in fresh state: fruits and vegetables and consuming only water from verified sources (attention to water from wells).
Considering the mode of transmission, the possibility of infecting other members of the family with this parasite should be considered, even if it does not show symptoms, so to prevent re-infection in the child it would be prudent to perform co-parasitological examinations and if it is other family members need to be treated.
- Resident physician -
-Anesthesia and intensive care-