Trichuris trichiura

Whip worm

Physiology and Structure
  • Resembles the handle and lash of a whip.
  • Ingested eggs hatch into a larval worm in the small intestine and migrate to the cecum.
  • Female worms can produce up to 3000 to 10,000 eggs per day.
  • Female worms can live for up to 8 years.
  • Eggs become infectious once they have been in contact with soil for 3 weeks.
  • Eggs are barrel in shape.

 

 

 

 

Female trichuris trichiura

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/11221755@N02/1072400810/

 

 
Clinical Syndromes

 

  • Most infections are with small numbers of Trichuris organisms.
  • infections with many larvae may produce abdominal pain and distention, bloody diarrhea, weakness and weight loss.
  • Appendicitis may occur as the lumens and the prolapse of the rectum when it is filled with worms.
  • Anemia and eosinophilia are also seen in severe infections.
 
Treatment, Prevention and Control
  • Drug of choice is mebendazole.
  • Good personal hygiene adequate sanitation and avoidance of the use of human feces as fertilizer are various ways to prevent infection.