Taenia solium

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A tapeworm species of class Cestoda, and is commonly known as the pork tapeworm


Taenia solium is a tapeworm species of class Cestoda of phylum Platyhelminthes. It is commonly called pork tapeworm. It is because it can be contracted from undercooked or measly pork infected with the larval forms of T. solium. The larva reaches its maturity at the intestines and can grow to be 3-6 feet (0.9-1.8 m) long in the human intestine. The adult T. solium is hermaphrodite and therefore reproduces through self-fertilization. The eggs are released together with the human feces and may contaminate fodder or vegetation through which the species is able to reach its intermediate host, the pigs, when the latter feed on them. T. solium infection (taeniasis) is most common in parts of Africa. Cysticercosis is also possible when the human host accidentally ingests the embryonated egg. The most severe form is neurocysticercosis wherein the larva encysts in the body of its human host, particularly the brain. Neurocysticercosis may lead to epilepsy.

Scientific classification:

Other common name(s):

  • pork tapeworm
  • armed tapeworm
  • measly tapeworm

See also: