Parasite information

There are 3200 varieties of parasites in the four major categories:

Protozoa

  • A single cell parasite.
  • Amoebae are an irregular shaped microorganism that infects the end of the smaller intestine and colon.
  • Amoebae also release an enzyme that causes ulcers or abscesses where they can enter the bloodstream.
  • They can eventually reach other organs like the brain or liver.
  • Can grow up to 25 micro meters in diameter.
  • Cryptosporidium is associated with waterborne outbreaks. The victim might experience diarrhea and abdominal pain lasting for about ten days.
  • Giardia is the most prevalent intestinal parasite in humans and found in drinking water. Giardia resides in the smaller intestine and at times in the gall bladder. Millions of these giardia organisms will coat the intestinal walls, prevents the absorption or nutrients and later causing illness.
  • Symptoms are mild to moderate abdominal cramps, intestinal gas, light colour stools, bad absorption, weakness, chills, stomach bloating and diarrhea.
  • The worms can grow to 14um x 10um.

Trematoda

  • Fluke – flatworm, bladder, blood, liver, lung, kidney and intestinal fluke.
  • Human infections of fluke (schistosomes) are in excess of 250 million worldwide.
  • They can cause severe disease of the gastrointestinal tract, bladder, liver and destroy blood cells.

Cestoda

  • Tapeworm – bladder worms, pork tapeworm, broad fish, dog tapeworm, dwarf and rat tapeworm
    • Broad fish tapeworm may grow to 35 feet long and live ten years inside a persons intestines
    • Some tapeworms can lay as many as a million eggs per day. Their bodies are in separate segments with hooks and suction cups on their skull

Nematoda

  • Nematoda - Common roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm, Pinworm, Heart worm
    • Size can vary from .2 to 35cm. Roundworm look similar to an earthworm and can produce 200 000 eggs a day. Approximately 1,008 million people are infected, making it the most common worldwide.
    • The most frequent symptom from roundworm is upper abdominal discomfort. Other symptoms are asthma, eye pain, insomnia and rashes due to the secretions or waste products from the worms.
    • Large numbers of worms can cause blockages in the intestinal tract, hemorrhage when penetrating the intestinal wall, appendicitis, peritonitis, abscesses in the liver, hemorrhagic pancreatisis, loss of appetite and insufficient absorption of digested foods.
    • Adult worms can grow up the 15 inches long.
    • Hookworm larvae penetrate the skin.
    • When the hookworm reach adulthood, they can sap the victim’s strength, vitality and overall well-being.
    • Young worms use their teeth to burrow through the intestinal wall and feed on your blood.
    • Pinworm can infect one in five children – worse in the African continent especially due to the numbers of aid orphans increasing
      • Symptoms are itching and irritation of the anus or vagina, digestive disorders, insomnia, irritability or nervousness.
      • Female worms crawl out of the anus and lay about 15000 eggs per day. Once airborne the eggs can survive for about two days anywhere in your living environment
    • Worldwide about 500 million children are infected with pinworm. The worm is white and can grow to about a half inch in length.
    • Infections from whipworm are estimated at several hundred million worldwide.
    • Symptoms of whipworms are bloody stools, pain in the lower abdomen, weight loss, rectal prolapse, nausea and anemia.
    • Hemorrhage can occur when worms penetrate the intestinal wall and bacterial infections usually follow
    • Worms grow to 1 to 2 inches in length.