Tapeworms are parasites that live in the small intestines of many different species of animals, including humans. Depending on the species, these tapeworms can vary greatly in length. For example, Echinococcus multilocularis is less than 1 cm long, whereas an adult Taenia saginata may be up to 10 metres long!
Why do tapeworms live in the small intestine?
Animals contract tapeworms from consuming prey, such as rabbits and rodents, that are infected with cysts filled with the eggs internally. Once the prey is consumed, the digestion allows the eggs to populate the intestine.
Where do tapeworms live in the body?
Tapeworms are a type of intestinal parasite. The flat, segmented worms live in humans and animals. They can live for decades inside a host. The adult tapeworms live mainly in their host's intestines but tapeworm larva can travel to other parts of the body.
What parasites live in the small intestine?
Intestinal parasites that remain prevalent in the United States include Enterobius vermicularis, Giardia lamblia, Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus, and Entamoeba histolytica.
Can tapeworms live in other parts of the body?
When larvae migrate to the liver, lungs or other organs, they become cysts. Over time, these cysts grow, sometimes large enough to crowd the functioning parts of the organ or reduce its blood supply. Tapeworm cysts sometimes rupture, releasing more larvae, which can move to other organs and form additional cysts.