Trichuriasis is a parasitic disease caused by a roundworm known as Trichuris trichiura (commonly called the Whipworm).
Trichuriasis occurs worldwide with higher prevalence in the tropics where the environment is warm and moist (this type of suitable environment is similar to that of Ascaris lumbricoides). More than 1 billion people are affected worldwide. Trichuriasis in the United States of America affects mainly the southern states.
Trichuriasis Mode of Transmission
Transmission occurs when the embryonated whipworm eggs are ingested. The eggs are the infective stage Trichuris trichiura.
Trichuriasis symptoms and signs
- Mild whipworm infection may remain asymptomatic (show no symptoms)
- Heavy worm infestation shows symptoms and signs such as Abdominal pains
- Anemia as the worms feed on blood
- Diarrhea due to irritation of the intestines by worms
- Pile or hemorrhoid
- Weight loss
Trichuriasis Laboratory Diagnosis
- Trichuriasis diagnosis is by viewing the whipworm eggs in stool under a microscope. The eggs will appear like lemons or have barrel shapes.
- The whitish whipworm can sometimes be seen in stool in children having rectal prolapse
- Treatment of Trichuriasis is by use of Mebendazole (100mg twice daily for 3 days), it is the drug of choice.
- Albendazole (4mg/kg as a single dose)
- Oxantel pamoate can be used
- Pyrantel pamoate
- Anemia because the whipworm feeds on blood
- Diarrhea or Trichuris dysentery or colitis
- Malnutrition this may occur following heavy whipworm infestation and also may be because of diarrhea
- Hemorrhoids (Rectal prolapse) in children who have heavy whipworm infection. The cause of the hemorrhoid in this case is due to increase movement of the intestines in order to expel the worms that are irritating the intestines.
- Prevention of Trichuriasis is done by proper disposal of feces to avoid transmission to people.
- Avoid use of human manure as fertilizer
- Practice good hygiene by washing of hands before eating
- Proper washing and cooking of vegetables before eating, including proper washing of fruits before eating