Taenia saginata

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  • also known as the beef tapeworm
  • humans are the only known definitive host, cattle are intermediate hosts


  • transmitted by ingesting undercooked beef containing the tapeworm larvae
  • larvae mature in the human intestines and the mature tapeworm attaches to the intestinal walls to ingest nutrients from the host
  • mature tapeworms release gravid proglottids in the stool which release eggs into the stool, which can remain active in sewage for several weeks

Clinical Features

  • symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, hunger pain, weight loss, and appendicitis, as well as discomfort of the proglottids crawling out of the anus
  • symptoms are more severe in those with immature or compromised immune systems

Differential Diagnosis

Helminth infections

Cestodes (Tapeworms)

Trematodes (Flukes)

Nematodes (Roundworms)



  • praziquantel, single dose of 5-10 mg/kg (2)
  • niclosamide outside the U.S. (single dose of 2 gm or 50 mg/kg for pediatrics) (2)


See Also


  1. Stanford University (n.d.). Taenia saginata. Retrieved from http://web.stanford.edu/group/parasites/ParaSites2001/taeniasis/saginata3.html
  2. Pearson RD. Merck Manual. Taenia Saginata infection Retrieved from http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/cestodes-(tapeworms)/taenia-saginata-(beef-tapeworm)-infection