Diarrhea in Helminthic Infections

R. M. Genta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Enteric helminths are among the most prevalent parasites of humankind, yet only scanty information exists about their effects on the gastrointestinal tract of their hosts. Specifically, there is little agreement on which worms definitely cause diarrhea. The available evidence suggests that five helminthic parasites are associated with human diarrheal disease: Trichinella spiralis (early phases of infection), Trichuris trichiura, Strongyloides stercoralis, Capillaria philippinensis, and Schistosoma (particularly Schistosoma mansoni). All these parasites have an invasive phase during which adult worms, their eggs, or their larvae establish intimate contact with the host's intestinal mucosa and elicit strong local inflammatory responses resulting in various structural and functional alterations of the gut. In contrast, strictly intraluminal worms do not seem to interfere with their hosts' intestinal structure and function to a degree sufficient to cause diarrhea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S122-S129
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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