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 arctic latitudes to the equator. Their prevalence is influenced, among other things, by climatic, socio-economic, cultural and other factors.

All helminths are divided into three large groups of cestodes - tapeworms, nematodes - roundworms, leeches - leeches. More than a hundred different helminthiases that cause certain types of parasites are registered on the territory of our country every year. The overwhelming majority of them (about 98 percent) are enterobiasis, ascariasis, opisthorchiasis and diphyllobothriasis, the causative agents of which are pinworms, roundworms, opisthorchis and broad tapeworms, respectively. The usual habitat of helminths is the human intestine. However, they can also parasitize in the lungs, kidneys, liver, muscle tissue, heart, brain and organs of vision.

Both children and adults are prone to infection with parasites, but most often helminthiasis occurs in children. In fact, 85 out of a hundred sick are children. This is due, among other things, to the lack of hygiene skills in children and to their anatomically immature immune system.

Most often, children suffer from ascariasis and enterobiasis. Fishermen and those who love to eat river fish are at risk of infection with diphyllobothriasis, and hunters - with trichinosis.

Parasites: possible signs

Abdominal pain with parasites in the body

There are two phases of helminthiasis - acute and chronic. If the disease is severe, the acute stage can drag on for up to two or more months. 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 febrile values).
  • Rashes (blotchy, urticaria). Recurrent urticaria that is not relieved by hormonal and desensitizing drugs. One of the reasons for this is that the parasite releases its waste products (toxins) in the body.
  • Swelling of the face.
  • Inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Dyspeptic symptoms (flatulence, etc. ).
  • Tonsillitis.
  • Polylymphoadenopathy.
  • Bronchitis, infiltration into the lungs.
  • Myocarditis.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Meningoencephalitis.

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

The most typical signs of parasitic infection are observed from the peripheral blood. So, in the acute stage of the disease, there is hypereosinophilia, which is characterized by an increase in the level of eosinophils in the blood. Most 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 from parasitic infections

Complications of helminthiasis, of course, depend on where the parasites are in the body and how severe the helminth invasion is. Some of the most common complications are:

  • Intestinal obstruction.
  • Acute appendicitis.
  • Peritonitis due to perforation of the intestinal wall.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Aspiration of parasites into the lungs.

Methods of diagnosing parasites in the body

Diagnostics of parasites in the body

Diagnosing helminthiasis is quite simple. Stool analysis is used to identify the most common types of parasites. In accordance with international recommendations, the analysis for intestinal parasites is submitted three times.

The release of feces for helminth eggs (YAG) and cysts from protozoa allows you to identify almost all types of parasites (intestines). An exception is enterobiasis caused by pinworms (this parasite, unlike other eggs, lays on the skin near the anus and not in the intestinal lumen). In this case, the so-called scraping for enterobiasis (impression with adhesive tape) is carried out from the perianal folds.

Coproscopy will help identify the number of eggs in the feces, which will allow you to assess the intensity of the helminth invasion. In addition, biliary and sputum analyzes can be performed.

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

Further diagnostic methods are ultrasound (ultrasound), x-rays, fibrogastroduodenoscopy (FGDS), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance tomography (MRT).

For the diagnosis of a certain helminth, there are special test systems, the specificity and sensitivity of which is more than ninety percent. Although there are both false positives and false negatives. In cases of doubt, the patient is subjected to a second analysis to assess the dynamics of manifestation.

Often, either of the above two methods will be enough to make a diagnosis - a stool test or a blood test for antibodies.

The remaining diagnostic methods are less meaningful and can be used as additional methods. To detect intestinal helminths (for example Ascaris and Lamblia), it is wrong to prescribe an antibody test or a so-called polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

The enzyme immunoassay enables the detection of toxocariasis, fascioliasis, opisthorchiasis and echinococcosis. Such a diagnosis of all other parasites leads to unreliable results. In controversial cases, secondary research methods are used - a blood test if ascariasis or giardiasis is suspected. Diagnostic errors are usually associated with the wrong choice of method or the wrong interpretation of the analysis results obtained, which is often encountered in practice.

Bioresonance diagnostics is an open way of recognizing worms. As a rule, after passing this research method, almost all people have not only parasites in the body, but also many other health problems.