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Dipylidium caninum

Dipylidium caninum (Linnaaeus, 1758) Railliet, 1892, a cosmopolitan tapeworm of
dog and cat. It has been found in children who fondle infected animals. Human
cases, including young infant, have been diagnosed from Europe, the Orient,
Africa, Latin America, and the Un ited States. The adult worms are med ium -sized,
measuring from 10 to 50 cm in length, and consist of several hundred of
proglottids.

The distalmost gravid proglottids a re mor e or less pumpkin -seed -shaped. In

children , the infection frequently solitary. The intact gravid proglottids, containing
polygonal -shaped masses of egg capsules, separate from the stro bila and pass
down the intestinal canal and out of the anus, free or in the feces.

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Mature proglottid Egg mass

Once the proglottids reach soil they become dehydrated and fragment, setting free
the egg capsules, each of which contains several fully e mbryonated eggs. W hen the
fleas , lice , and possibly other arthropods ingest the eg g capsules or individual eggs,
the librated embryo transform s into a cysticercoid larva. The def initive host
(human) becomes infected by ingesting an infected larval or adult insect.

This infection in the child may produce profuse diarrhea and unrest. Occasionally

there may be severe sensitization reactions, such as urticaria, fever, significant
eosi nophilia.

Diagnosis is made on recovery of the characteristic gravid proglottids evacuated in

the stool or migrating out of the anus, and observing the polygonal pattern of the
mother embryonic membranes within the uterus of this cestode . Treatment is the
same as that re commended for Taenia saginata and Hymenolepis nana
(praziq uantel) , the drug is generally well -tolerated .

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The life cycle of Dipylidium caninum


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