Learn About Whipworm Infection

What is the definition of Whipworm Infection?

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

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What are the alternative names for Whipworm Infection?

Intestinal parasite - whipworm; Trichuriasis; Round worm - trichuriasis

What are the causes of 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 of 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)
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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.

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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
What are the latest Whipworm Infection Clinical Trials?
An Assessor Blind, Randomized, Comparative Study of the Efficacy of Different Doses of Oxfendazole Compared to Single Dose Albendazole in the Treatment of Trichuris Trichiura Infection in Adults
Summary: The main objective of this study is to provide data on the efficacy profile of different doses of oxfendazole when used in Trichuris trichiura infection. The drug will be also be examined for efficacy against other common nematodes encountered in man (Ascaris lumbricoides, Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus). The study will also provide data on the safety and tolerability of the oxfendazole...
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A Phase 2, Partially-Blinded, Randomized, Comparative Study of the Efficacy of Different Doses of Oxfendazole Compared to a Single Dose of Albendazole for the Treatment of Trichuris Trichiura Infection in Adults
Summary: This is a Phase 2 trial to evaluate the efficacy of different doses of oxfendazole versus a single dose of albendazole in curing or reducing the egg burden in subjects with T. trichiura infections. 249 subjects will be randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to one of three dose-groups to receive a single dose of oxfendazole 400 mg or 800 mg, or a single dose of albendazole 400 mg. The study team members and ...
What are the Latest Advances for Whipworm Infection?
Efficacy of triple dose albendazole treatment for soil-transmitted helminth infections.
Summary: Efficacy of triple dose albendazole treatment for soil-transmitted helminth infections.
The prevalence of human trichuriasis in Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Summary: The prevalence of human trichuriasis in Asia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
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Soil-transmitted helminthiasis in China: A national survey in 2014-2015.
Summary: Soil-transmitted helminthiasis in China: A national survey in 2014-2015.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: December 24, 2020
Published By: Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

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.