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Taeniasis is a form of tapeworm infection which is caused by tapeworms of the genus Taenia. The worm remains in the intestine until it reaches a length of about 3 feet (1 metre or so). The two most important human pathogens in the genus are Taenia solium (the pork tapeworm) and Taenia saginata (the beef tapeworm). Infection is acquired by eating imperfectly cooked contaminated meat and infected pork. The adult worms live in the lumen of the intestine where it causes very few symptoms. It absorbs most of the host's digested food and the patient becomes terribly weak. The eggs of worms break out in the form of segments from the mature worm and pass out through faeces of the infected person, and when they reach the food of a pig or a cow and get accidentally consumed, they hatch and form larval stages which settle in their muscles. When such beef or cow is consumed raw or imperfectly cooked the worm matures in his intestine
Taeniasis is generally asymptomatic and is diagnosed when a portion of the worm is passed in the stool. Oral anti-parasitic drugs are the treatment of choice.
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