Tapeworm Essay, Research Paper
Tapeworm There are many different parasitic worms that people need to worry about. Tapeworm is one of them. This is a fairly familiar worm but there are many more interesting facts to be learned about the tapeworm.The tapeworm belongs to the phylum Platyhelminthes and the class Cestoda. Normally being white or yellow in color, tapeworms have long, flat, ribbon-like, segmented bodies. They have a head-like structure called the scolex. The scolex contains suckers, hooks, or both, which is the tapeworm’s only source of attachment to its host. Followed by the scolex is a neck region. This is also known as the growing region because this is where the new body segments are budded from. These body segments are arranged from smallest and most immature by the neck to largest and most mature at the end of the tape-worm. Tapeworms grow to all different sizes ranging from less than one inch and having only a few segments to over fifty feet and having thousands of segments. The tapeworm has a surprisingly complex life. It goes through about two intermediate hosts, being vertebrates or invertebrates, until it reaches the final host, a vertebrate. The adult forms of these worms live in the intestines of humans and animals. Having no mouth or intestine, the tapeworm is covered by a protective cuticle, yet it still absorbs its food through its body wall. The nutrients the tapeworm needs come from the hosts’ intestines. There are limited ways to get tapeworm. If people do not cook their pork or beef well enough and it is contaminated with tapeworm, they will then become a host of tapeworm. If someone is infected with tapeworm, they will have the symptoms of always having to eat something because one feels as though there is no food in their stomach. It may cause abdominal discomfort, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, or anemia. The larva of tapeworms are much more dangerous to people than the mature tapeworm. If someone accidentally digests the larva, there is the possibility of them maturing in all organs of the body. They could even develop in the eyes, heart, and brain of someone doing some serious damage.Every segment of the tapeworm has male and female reproductive organs that produce many eggs. When there are a lot of cells produced, the end of the tapeworm breaks off and is excreted through body waste. The eggs are then outside the host waiting to be picked up by another.
One specific type of tapeworm is the Pork Tapeworm (Taenia solium). This worm has a ring of hooks on the top of the scolex, plus suckers. (There is a picture of a Pork Tapeworm on the previous page). It is not very common in our area, but in some parts of Europe this worm can be found. It found mostly among the Jews and Moslems who are not thorough when they cook their pork.Another type is the Beef Tapeworm (Taenia saginata). This one has four suckers on the scolex. As in many other tapeworms, the ends of tapeworms are where the developing embryo is located. When this is mature and breaks off, it is excreted from the host with waste and onto vegetation. This is how the cow then digests the worm and becomes infected. From there the six-hooked embryo makes its way off to the intestine and then into the blood stream. The blood vessels carry it off to the muscle tissue where it then grows into a bladder with a head. When humans eat uncooked beef, the bladder is digested, but the head remains and attaches to the wall of the intestine. This tapeworm is easily overlooked during inspection due to the + inch size, so be sure that all beef is cooked well. The largest, most injurious tapeworm to man is the Broad Fish Tapeworm (Dibothriocephalus latus). This can be as long as 55 feet, but normally only grows to about 12 to 20 feet in humans. This tapeworm is found in humans, bears, dogs, cats, and others. You can find this worm in areas such as Michigan, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Alaska, and in areas across sea such as Siberia, Japan, Chile, and Palestine. In order to prevent from getting this particular worm, avoid eating smoked fish unless you are positive that the fish has been treated.Tapeworm is not something anyone would want to come across. It is a disgusting parasite that lives in humans’ bodies. Be sure that all beef, pork, and fish are properly cooked before eating and stay away form the contaminated areas of the world that have the different types of tapeworm. If people do this, they should stay tapeworm free, unless some freak accident happens and they become infected.