What is the definition of Whipworm Infection?

Whipworm infection is an infection of the large intestine with a type of roundworm.

What are the alternative names for Whipworm Infection?

Intestinal parasite - whipworm; Trichuriasis; Round worm - trichuriasis

What are the causes for Whipworm Infection?

Whipworm infection is caused by the roundworm Trichuris trichiura. It is a common infection that mainly affects children.

Children may become infected if they swallow soil contaminated with whipworm eggs. When the eggs hatch inside the body, the whipworm sticks inside the wall of the large intestine.

Whipworm is found throughout the world, especially in countries with warm, humid climates. Some outbreaks have been traced to contaminated vegetables (secondary to soil contamination).

What are the symptoms for Whipworm Infection?

Most people who have whipworm infections don't have symptoms. Symptoms mainly occur in children, and range from mild to severe. A severe infection may cause:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Fecal incontinence (during sleep)
  • Rectal prolapse (the rectum comes out of the anus)

What are the current treatments for Whipworm Infection?

The drug albendazole is commonly prescribed when the infection causes symptoms. A different anti-worm medicine may also be prescribed.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Whipworm Infection?

Full recovery is expected with treatment.

When should I contact a medical professional for Whipworm Infection?

Seek medical attention if you or your child develop bloody diarrhea. In addition to whipworm, many other infections and illnesses can cause similar symptoms.

How do I prevent Whipworm Infection?

Improved facilities for feces disposal have decreased the incidence of whipworm.

Always wash your hands before handling food. Teach your children to wash their hands, too. Thoroughly washing food may also help prevent this condition.

Trichuris trichiura egg

REFERENCES

Dent AE, Kazura JW. Trichuriasis (Trichuris trichiura). In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 319.

Ince MN, Elliott DE. Intestinal worms. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 114.

  • Condition: Parasitic Infections and Cancer
  • Journal: The Korean journal of parasitology
  • Treatment Used: Albendazole and Mebendazole
  • Number of Patients: 0
  • Published —
This article discusses the use of albendazole and mebendazole in the treatment of parasitic infection and cancer.
  • Journal: Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
  • Published —
Rodent Models for the Study of Soil-Transmitted Helminths: A Proteomics Approach.