Q:

How do tapeworms reproduce?

A:

A tapeworm is an intestinal parasite consisting of a head with hooks and a body containing segments, according to TeenHealth. Once ingested by a host, a usually a mammal or vertebrate, it attaches to the intestinal wall, lives by digesting the nutrition that moves by and grows by making more segments. Each segment produces thousands of eggs, and each egg can produce a new tapeworm.

A tapeworm can contain 1,000 segments and grow to 33 feet long, explains TeenHealth. As the older segments are pushed down the length of the tapeworm, they break off, carrying their eggs with them, where eventually they are released from the digestive tract as feces. Tapeworms spread through contaminated water, soil, and food, as animals or humans pick up the eggs or worm segments and ingest them, repeating the cycle.

Human tapeworm infestations are most common, explains Encyclopedia.com, in areas with poor sanitation and where meat and fish are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Humans ingest tapeworms directly from water or soil. Tapeworms can infest fish, cows and pigs, invading their muscle fibers as cysts, where they lie dormant until eaten by humans.

A tapeworm infection typically causes few symptoms, according to Encyclopedia.com, and a host frequently does not know he is infected until signs of the worms or eggs are seen in clothing, bedding or feces. A tapeworm infection is easily treated with medication.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is the cause of an enlarged gallbladder?

    A:

    Conditions that can cause an enlarged bladder include cholecystitis and bladder cancer. Cholecystitis is the medical term for an inflamed or swollen gallbladder.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What does hydrochloric acid do in the stomach?

    A:

    According to Colorado State University, hydrochloric acid in the stomach kills any bacteria in food. It both attacks proteins directly and activates the pepsin enzyme, which is even more powerful in breaking down proteins. Springfield Technical Community College notes that the acid is released both on food detection and ingestion.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How do you know if you have hemorrhoids?

    A:

    The most common signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching, pain or irritation around the anal area, a lump near the anus, painless bleeding during bowel movements and leakage of feces, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although the primary symptom of hemorrhoids is bleeding during bowel movements, this symptom may also be caused by other, more serious conditions, such as anal cancer.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are bubble guts?

    A:

    Bubble guts are a bubbly feeling in the stomach. Gas is the main cause of this, according to Med Guidance. Med Guidance states that swallowing air while eating or drinking causes gas. This is also common in people who wear dentures, smoke or chew gum often. Diarrhea is another cause of a bloated or cramping feeling in the stomach, according to WebMD.

    Full Answer >

Explore