The invisible fox tapeworm
The fox tapeworm is a parasite that not only attacks the fox. Often hunted domestic cats, less often dogs and humans are affected. The developmental cycle of the fox tapeworm mainly takes place in a cycle among wild animals. The fox carries as end host
the sexually mature worm in and excretes tapeworm eggs. Mice and other small rodents take the eggs with their plant food, so they become infected intermediate hosts. In its bodies the tapeworm fins develop - a larva of a tapeworm.
The small rodents are now eaten by the fox as Hauptbt animals. This closes the circle: the tapeworm fin enters the end host, in whose intestine it develops into the sexually mature tapeworm. Since dogs and cats also eat infected mice, they also become end hosts, in whose small intestine the fox tapeworm lives. But you notice that as a pet owner, only when enteritis, diarrhea, emaciation or dull fur occur.
Man as a false intermediate host
Dangerous are the excretions of dog and cat, because by licking the microscopically small eggs get into the coat - when stroking then to the hand of humans and from there finally into the mouth - if you do not wash your hands.
In the developmental cycle of the fox tapeworm, humans are a false intermediate host, because they can not pass on the infection to a final host. In his organs, however, takes place - as in real intermediate hosts - a larval development. Mainly liver and lung are affected.
The larvae grow very slowly and destroy the organ like a tumor, the incubation period is five to 15 years. For humans, the fox tapeworm infection is therefore very dangerous, a cure is hardly possible. How many people are actually infected, one can only estimate because of the long incubation period: the Bavarian State Office for Occupational Safety, Occupational Medicine and Safety Technology states that for Central Europe with 0.02 to 1.2 cases per 100 000 inhabitants is expected.
Danger from eating berries and mushrooms
In a fox can live up to 200, 000 tapeworms. Infested animals excrete tapeworm limbs with their faeces, which contain several hundred tapeworm eggs. Even on fruits growing close to the ground, such as berries and mushrooms, tapeworm eggs can stick and are therefore a dangerous source of infection for humans. Deep growing fruits should never be eaten unwashed: it is best to heat them above 60 degrees - deep freezing alone will not kill the eggs.
The dog tapeworm is a close relative of the fox tapeworm. Again, man is again an intermediate host. The disease, called cystic echinococcosis, causes the larvae of this two to six millimeter small tapeworm. It is diagnosed relatively frequently in humans. According to information from Bayer Health Care, for example, there are between 50 and 100 cases per year in Baden-Württemberg. The reason: many dogs come from the Mediterranean countries to Germany. There, up to 50 percent of dogs suffer from dog tapeworm.
As with the fox tapeworm, the fin of the dog tapeworm settles above all in the liver, the lungs, more rarely in the spleen, kidneys, brain and other organs. Although the infection usually goes hand in hand with symptoms, symptoms may develop during the course of the illness. Abdominal pain is almost always a first symptom.
Sometimes it comes with extensive infestation and yellowing of the eyes and skin of the patient. The bursting of the Finns in the lungs means pain, coughing and difficulty breathing. If pathogens are found in the brain and spinal cord, neurological symptoms such as blurred vision or paralysis can occur. In addition, there is a risk of allergic shock when Finns burst.