Worm infection

Key Information

Appropriate Tests

 

Clinical manifestations depend on stage of life cycle and site of infection.

Geographical exposure may indicate which parasites are likely.

Ova cysts parasites faeces; macroscopic identification of live worm passed in faeces.

Histological diagnosis on tissue biopsy (eg, Schistosoma haematobium). 

Specific serology to detect antibodies against certain helminths is available, but generally these tests do not distinguish between previous and present infection. 

Nematodes (roundworms)

 

Trematodes (flukes)

 

Cestodes (tapeworms)

 

Manifestations

 

Asymptomatic

 

Itch

 

Urticaria

 

Eosinophilia

 

Abdominal pain

 

Lung infiltrate

 

Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is unusual, unless there is a particularly heavy infestation of round worms.