CDC Yellow Book 2024Travel-Associated Infections & Diseases
INFECTIOUS AGENT: Taenia spp.
South and Southeast Asia
TRAVELER CATEGORIES AT GREATEST RISK FOR EXPOSURE & INFECTION
Follow safe food precautions
Avoid raw or undercooked beef and pork
Taenia spp., including T. asiatica, T. saginata (beef tapeworm), and T. solium (pork tapeworm), cause human taeniasis.
Transmission occurs through eating raw or undercooked contaminated beef (T. saginata) or pork (T. asiatica, T. solium).
Taeniasis prevalence is greatest in Africa, Latin America, and South and Southeast Asia. Taeniasis has been reported at lower rates in Eastern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain). Tapeworm infections are unusual in travelers.
The incubation period is 8–16 weeks for T. asiatica, 10–14 weeks for T. saginata, and 8–10 weeks for T. solium. Symptoms can include abdominal discomfort, anorexia, diarrhea, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, perianal pruritus, weakness, and weight loss. Symptoms are less likely for T. solium infection than for T. saginata infection.
Diagnosis is made by detecting eggs, proglottids (segments), or tapeworm antigens in the feces or on anal swabs. Differential diagnosis of Taenia spp. is based on morphology of the scolex and gravid proglottids. Clinicians can obtain diagnostic assistance and confirmatory testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria DPDx laboratory (firstname.lastname@example.org) and from the Parasitic Diseases Hotline for Healthcare Providers (404-718-4745; email@example.com).
Praziquantel is the drug of choice for taeniasis, except for symptomatic neurocysticercosis (see Sec. 5, Part 3, Ch. 6, Cysticercosis). Niclosamide is an alternative but is not as widely available.
Travelers should practice safe food precautions and especially avoid eating raw or undercooked meat.
CDC website: www.cdc.gov/parasites/taeniasis
The following authors contributed to the previous version of this chapter: Susan Montgomery
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