Why are helminths dangerous for the human body?

Helminths are the most ancient and numerous inhabitants of our planet. It is known that they can live almost anywhere and the human body is for many of them the optimal environment for existence. There, the parasite is not only maximally protected from external influences, but can also receive the nutrients necessary for its growth and development. Not all helminthiasis has pronounced symptoms (such as the same enterobiase): often a person does not even suspect that uninvited guests live in his body. How can a parasitic invasion be detected?

Why are helminths dangerous for the human body?

examination of the helminth to take an analysis for the parasite

Despite the fact that helminths can live asymptomatically in the human body for a long time, this does not mean that their vital activity is safe. All parasites in the process of growth, development and death secrete certain substances that contribute to the sensitization of the body and the development of allergic reactions. Rash, itchy skin and even anaphylactic shock can be the result of parasitic worms.

Also, many helminths are localized in the patient's gastrointestinal tract and disrupt the processes of normal digestion and absorption of nutrients. The patient notes the appearance of weakness, fatigue, dizziness and lightheadedness, which may be associated with the development of anemia. Brittle nails, hair, dry skin and mucous membranes can be the result of iron deficiency, hypovitaminosis and lack of mineral components. Against the background of chronic diarrhea, some patients develop dehydration and even increase the risk of hemorrhoids.

Many helminths have a mechanical effect on the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. Suction cups and hooks injure the tissues, which contributes to the formation of ulcerative and erosive changes. Cases of development of inflammation of the appendicular process against the background of helminthiasis are also known.

Who should be tested?

In fact, everyone is at risk. Almost all people eat meat or fish, vegetables, fruits and berries, as well as drink unboiled water and swim in tanks. Children are particularly vulnerable in this regard: they most often have helminth eggs. Young children tend to put dirty toys and any other objects in their mouths, cuddle with stray and domestic cats and dogs, and break the rules of personal hygiene. There are several types of analysis:

  • Preventive analyzes

    Their goal is the timely detection of parasitic worms, even in the absence of signs. It is recommended that you undergo such an examination at least once a year.

  • Barrier analyzes

    They are aimed at preventing the spread of helminthiasis in humans. When the child enters a preschool institution or when he goes to the pool, it is mandatory to provide a certificate. Medical and nutritionists must also undergo a similar test.

  • According to the testimony

    If you suspect the development of helminthiasis (epidemiological history and specific complaints), the specialist prescribes a set of tests. This allows you to diagnose the disease in time and start treatment.

Analysis for helminth eggs

A very popular method for detecting helminth eggs is stool testing. In this case, no additional preparation is required: you just need to collect the biological material in a special jar and take it to the laboratory. However, experts recommend that you do not take any antiparasitic drugs before taking the test: this can affect its accuracy. It is also worth noting that the analysis must be submitted at least 3 times to exclude false positives and false negatives. Today, the examination of feces for helminth eggs is gradually giving way to newer methods - the determination of antibodies to a particular parasite in the blood.

How to detect enterobiosis?

Enterobiosis is one of the most common helminthiasis, and pinworms cause it. The disease is common in students and kindergartens, but adults are also at risk of infection. The main symptom of the disease is severe itching in the perianal area. The diagnosis of enterobiosis is made by obtaining a smear or scraping of the area near the anus. This is due to the fact that the female of the pathogen leaves the intestines to lay eggs on the surface of the skin folds. The procedure is performed before going to the toilet and washing in the morning, which allows you to get an accurate result.

Diagnosis of ascariasis

diagnosis of human sputum and feces to detect the genetic material of the parasite

Roundworms are helminths whose body length can reach 40 centimeters. They can travel throughout the body, affecting not only the gastrointestinal tract but also the lungs. Samples of sputum and faeces can be used as test material: the genetic material of the parasite is found in them. Also, roundworm eggs are often found in the patient's stool. However, the most effective diagnostic method is the detection of specific antibodies to the parasite worm antigens in the patient's blood.

How to recognize opisthorchiasis?

Feline fluke causes opisthorchiasis, which is characterized by predominant liver damage. That is why opisthorchia eggs can be found not only in feces but also in duodenal juice. In recent years, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay has been widely used to detect antibodies to opisthorchiasis. Also, helminths can be detected using a polymerase chain reaction that is effective even with a small amount of biological material.

Identification of trichinosis

Trichinella is a helminth that mainly affects the muscles, but can migrate to the central nervous system, causing irreversible changes. If the development of this helminthiasis is suspected, a muscle biopsy has previously been performed, but in recent years it has been replaced by serological methods. The detection of antibodies to Trichinella in the patient's blood is the reason for the diagnosis.