Abdominal parasitic infection

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mohammed Abdelwahed M.D[2] Aditya Ganti M.B.B.S. [3]

Abdominal parasitic infection Main page



Ascaris lumbricoides

Necator americanus

Giardia lamblia

Fasciola Hepaticum


Strongyloidis Stercoralis

E. Histolytica (Amebiasis)


Trichuris trichiura

Hymenolepis Nana


An intestinal parasite infection is a condition in which a parasite infects the gastro-intestinal tract of humans and other animals. Mode of transmission of infection can be due to ingestion of undercooked meat, drinking infected water, fecal-oral transmission and skin absorption. There are many types of parasites that can cause abdomial infections but the most common parasites responsible for infection include Ascaris lumbricoides, Necator americanus, Fasciola, Schistosoma, Trichuris trichiura, Strongyloides stercoralis, Taenia, Hymenolepis nana, and Entamoeba histolytica. Common symptoms of abdominal parasitic infections include are abdominal discomfort, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Stool microscopy is the most common diagnostic tool for evaluation. Common complications include focal neurologic changes, pericarditis, arrhythmia, and right-sided pleural effusion. Serology is used as screening mainly because of low sensitivity. albendazole is the drug of choice for treatment of most parasitic infections.


Abdominal Parasitic infections

The following table summarizes all the abdominal parasitic infections.

Parasitic Infection Mode of infection Incidence Epidemiology Clinical manifestations  Diagnosis Treatment
Disease Parasite Geographic distrubution
Ascariasis Ascaris lumbricoides
  • Ingestion of Ascaris eggs secreted in the feces of humans or pigs.[1]
  • Ingesting uncooked pig or chicken liver with the larvae.
  • Ascariasis affects at least 1 billion people worldwide and about 4 million people in the United States.[2]
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • South America
Necatoriasis Necator americanus 
  • Skin contact
  • Approximately 800 million people are infected with hookworms worldwide.[3]
  • Brazil
  • Texas
  • Africa
  • China
  • Southwest Pacific islands
  • India
  • Southeast Asia
Giardiasis Giardia lamblia
  • Ingestion of raw or undercooked food contaminated with cysts.[9]
  • Approximately, 15,223 cases were reported in the United States in 2012.[10]
  • Worldwide infection
  • Among mountains hikers
 Fasciolosis  Fasciola Hepaticum
  • Central and South America
  • Asia (China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, and Thailand)
  • Europe (Portugal, France, Spain, and Turkey)
  • Africa
  • The Middle East

S. mansoni
S. japonicum
S. haematobium

  • Infection can occur by:
    • Penetration of the human skin by cercaria
    • Handling of contaminated soil
    • Consumption of contaminated water or food sources (e.g, unwashed garden vegetables)
  • Approximately 200 million people are infected annually with 200,000 deaths per year.
Sub-Saharan Africa[19] Acute schistosomiasis syndrome [20]

Chronic schistosomias[22][23][24][25]

  • Intestinal schistosomiasis
  • Hepatosplenic schistosomiasis[26][27]
  • Pulmonary schistosomiasis[28]
  • Genitourinary schistosomiasis 
Strongyloidiasis Strongyloidis Stercoralis
  • Infection is contracted via direct contact with contaminated soil during agricultural, domestic, and recreational activities
  • Approximately 30–100 million infected persons worldwide
  • Tropical and subtropical regions
  • Aspiration of duodenojejunal fluid is sometimes used to detect[31] 
  • Stool microscopy
Amoebiasis E. Histolytica
  • Transmitted by the fecal-oral route through contaminated drinking water or food.
  • Direct contact with infected individuals.
  • Annual incidence of amoebiasis is approximately 50 million cases.[34][35][36]
  • India
  • Africa
  • Mexico
  • Parts of Central and South America
  • Stool microscopy
  • Antigen testing
  • PCR

Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm)
Taenia solium, ( pork tapeworm)[37]

  • Consumption of undercooked beef
  • Approximately 50 million human have cysticercosis.
  • Europe
  • Parts of Asia
Trichuriasis Trichuris trichiura
  • Ingestion of embryonatedeggs from contaminated drinking water and food.
  • 600-800 million people are infected worldwide.
  • Endemic in tropical and subtropical countries.
  •  Southern United States
  • Incidence and prevalence rates are highest in children living in
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Asia
    • Latin America
    • Caribbean
Hymenolepiasis Hymenolepis nana
  • Ingestion of infected eggs
  • 50-75 million carriers of H. nana. 
  • 5 to 25% prevalence among children worldwide.
Most common in temperate zones[41]
  • South Europe
  • Russia
  • India
  • US
  • Latin America
  • Asymptomatic[42]
  • Heavy infections with >1000 worms can occur
  • Stool microscopy


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