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For further information, see CMDT Part 35-19: Invasive Cestode Infections

Key Features

  • Caused by ingestion of

    • Aquatic copepods infected with larvae of Spirometra canine or feline tapeworms

    • Undercooked infected meat (including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians)

  • Can also result from use of frog or snake-meat poultices

  • Infection is found in South America and East Asia

Clinical Findings

  • The worms penetrate the intestinal wall or skin and migrate to various tissues

  • Inflammatory lesions, most commonly of the skin or eyes, are typically present

  • In cerebral sparganosis, an intense inflammatory response to worms can lead to severe neurologic disease

Diagnosis

  • Biopsy

  • Visualization of the parasite

Treatment

  • Surgical resection

  • Local injection of ethanol

  • Praziquantel: Treatment of choice when surgery is not possible

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