The most common tapeworm. "Loves lead, lives off bile"
When I first started reading more about them, I knew rodents were a main source of infection, but it really makes you stop and think about what we are getting, unknowingly, in our foods. Grains- flours, cereals etc. are one of the main ways humans are infected with them. I know-ewww!
Hymenolepis diminuta is a cestode which sometimes causes infection in humans. Human infection results from eating such foods as dried fruits and precooked breakfast cereals in which the infected grain insects, themselves infected from eating rat or mouse droppings, are present. Some symptoms of infestation in humans include, enteritis, anorexia, headaches, anal pruritus, abdominal distress and small gut irritation. Hymenolepiasis is the term for a human to be infected with either H. diminuta or Hymenolepis nana, a dwarf sister species very closely related to H. diminuta
Hymenolepiasis is the most common cestode parasite in the human body. Infections are seen more often among children.
H. diminuta fertilized eggs pass in the stool from an infected host. The eggs are then eaten by grain beetles where the cysticerci, or larval stage develops. Humans then can eat the bug or its mealworm phase in cereal or flour. The worm matures in the duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine, and attach to the mucosa lining.
Patients with more than 15,000 eggs per gram of stool may experience cramps, diarrhea, irritability, anorexia, or enteritis **** caused by cystercoids destroying the intestinal villi in which they develop. ***** ( my side-note..."what if", the increase in "celiac", is nothing to do with the gluten itself, but what people are infected with from the grains-- dwarf tapeworm!) [
HH. nana worms are flat and segmented with skinny necks. They vary in length from approximately 15 to 40 mm and are 1 mm wide
H. diminuta is thought to be passed to humans most often through the ingestion of insects in dried grains or cereal. Research done in 2000 showed that of nine pet stores surveyed in Connecticut U.S.A., 75% sold rats, mice or hamsters infected with H. nana. A serious public health risk could result from pet store parasite transmissions.
H. diminuta worms are the same shape as H. nana but are much larger, up to 90 cm long and 44 mm wide.