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Tapeworm and dangers of empirical treatment
wrayc Views: 13,000
Published: 14 years ago
Status:       RRR [Message recommended by a moderator!]

Tapeworm and dangers of empirical treatment

After I read about the guy from San Fran that died from some type of obscure tape worm infection... got me thinking. The description sounded alot like mine with night sweats and back pain etc, so I did some digging:

Sparganum proliferum from the pseudophyllidium class of cestoda.

There has been implications of virus infection influencing this parasite (cofactor?), including the budding and immortality characterisitics.

There doesnt seem to be an effective treatment for this. Although I have read a couple cases treated with alternating courses of mebendazole then praziquantel over a period of weeks with success. I wander though why not albendazole since it is DOC for tapeworm infection over mebendazole and better absorbed. Possibly albendazole was not available at the time of the research? Although I know the mechanisms are similar but do differ in that mebendazole creates a permanent blockade of glucose uptake, while albendazole is dependant on constant contact. In one case they actually attempted to treat with thiabendazole; very odd.

NOTE: this is a particularly dangerous disease, such as what occurred with the man in San Fran. All the cases that I read that were inappropriately treated with mebendazole were fatal. This underscores the peril of treating infections empirically, regardless of the intention (monique).


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