Parasites in the body: why are helminthiases dangerous?

Helminthiases are parasitic diseases with a polymorphic clinical picture. According to statistics, about every fourth person in the world is a carrier of parasites - helminths.

Types of parasites

Helminthiases are found everywhere, from the Arctic latitude to the equator. Its prevalence is influenced by, among others, climatic, socio-economic, cultural and other factors.

All helminths are divided into three large groups of cestodes - tapeworms, nematodes - roundworms, flukes - flukes. In the territory of our country, more than a hundred different helminthiases are registered each year, which cause several types of parasites. A large number of them (about ninety-eight per cent) are enterobiasis, ascariasis, opisthorchiasis and diphyllobothriasis, the causative agents of which are cream worms, ringworms, opisthorchis and broad tapeworms, respectively. The common habitat of helminths is the human intestine. However, they can also parasitize the lungs, kidneys, liver, muscle tissue, heart, brain, organs of vision.

Children and adults are prone to infection with parasites, but helminthiasis most often occurs in children. Indeed, eighty-eighty-five people out of a hundred sick people are children. This is due, among other things, to the lack of hygiene skills in children, as well as their anatomically immature immune systems.

Often, children suffer from ascariasis and enterobiasis. Fishermen and those who like to eat river fish are at risk of contracting diphyllobothriasis, and hunters - with trichinosis.

Parasites: possible signs

abdominal pain with parasites in the body

There are two phases of helminthiasis - acute and chronic. With severe illness, the acute stage can last up to two months or more. In the acute phase, two to four weeks after the invasion, clinical signs of the disease can be observed, for example:

  • Fever (temperature from subfebrile to fever).
  • Skin rash (pimples, urticaria). Recurrent urticaria, not relieving hormone medications and desensitizing. This is due, among other things, to the fact that the parasite, which is in the body, releases its waste products (toxins).
  • Swollen face.
  • Inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Dyspeptic symptoms (bloating and so on).
  • Tonsillitis.
  • Polylymphoadenopathy.
  • Bronchitis, infiltration of the lungs.
  • Myocarditis.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Meningoencephalitis.

The above signs are not pathognomonic symptoms for this or helminthiasis.

The most common signs of parasitic infection are observed from peripheral blood. Thus, in the acute stage of the disease, there is hypereosinophilia, which is characterized by increased levels of eosinophils in the blood. Often, their number is twenty to thirty percent. In some cases, the number of cells can reach eighty to ninety percent. High eosinophilia is usually accompanied by leukocytosis.

Complications of parasitic infections

Complications of helminthiasis, of course, depend on the location of the parasite in the body and the degree of helminthic invasion. Some of the most common complications are:

  • Intestinal obstruction.
  • Acute appendicitis.
  • Peritonitis due to perforation of the intestinal wall.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Parasitic aspiration in the lungs.

Methods for diagnosing parasites in the body

diagnostics of parasites in the body

The diagnosis of helminthiasis is relatively simple. Fecal analysis was used to identify the most common types of parasites. In accordance with international recommendations, analysis for intestinal parasites was submitted three times.

Submission of feces to eggs of helminths (YAG) and protozoan cysts allows you to detect almost all types of parasites (intestines). The exception is enterobiasis caused by cream worms (these parasites, unlike others, lay eggs on the skin near the anus, and not in the intestinal lumen). In this case, so -called scraping of the enterobiasis (printed with adhesive tape) of the perianal fold is performed.

Coproscopy helps identify the number of eggs in the feces, which allows you to assess the intensity of helminthic invasion. In addition, bile and sputum analysis can be performed.

For the diagnosis of extraintestinal and tissue helminthiasis, the situation is more complicated. In this case, an enzyme -linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a blood test for microfilaria, and if trichinosis is suspected, a muscle biopsy can be used to identify parasites in the body.

Additional diagnostic methods are ultrasound (ultrasound), X-ray, fibrogastroduodenoscopy (FGDS), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

For the diagnosis of a particular helminth, there is a special test system, its specificity and sensitivity of more than ninety percent. Although there are false positive and false negative results. In doubtful cases, to assess the dynamics of manifestations, the patient undergoes a second analysis.

Often, one of the two methods mentioned above is enough to make a diagnosis - a stool test or a blood test for antibodies.

The remaining diagnostic methods are less informative and can be used as additional methods. To detect intestinal helminths (e. g. , ascaris and lamblia), it is incorrect to prescribe antibody testing or so -called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

For enzyme immunoassay, this allows you to detect toxocariasis, fascioliasis, opisthorchiasis and echinococcosis. Diagnostic of all other parasites in this way will lead to unreliable results. In cases of controversy, secondary research methods are used - blood tests for suspected ascariasis or giardiasis. Diagnostic errors are usually associated with incorrect method choices or incorrect interpretations of the analytical results obtained, which are often found in practice.

The obvious way to detect worms is bioresonance diagnostics. As a rule, after going through this method of research, almost everyone not only has parasites in the body, but also many other health problems.