Volume 87, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Twenty cases of (fish tapeworm) infections were prospectively studied to determine whether this tapeworm is associated with megaloblastic anemia, as commonly reported for infections. The most frequent symptoms were fatigue and mild abdominal pain, which were identified in approximately 66.6% of the 18 patients interviewed. Fourteen patients received treatment with niclosamide and all were cured. The other six patients spontaneously eliminated the tapeworms. One patient, who also had chronic diabetes and gastric atrophy, had low vitamin B12 levels and megaloblastic anemia. In all other patients, including three other patients with anemia, baseline vitamin B12 levels were in the reference range and did not significantly change when re-assessed three months later. Unlike , infection with is seldom associated with megaloblastic anemia or vitamin B12 deficit.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Scholz T, Garcia HH, Kuchta R, Wicht B, , 2009. Update on the human broad tapeworm (genus Diphyllobothrium), including clinical relevance. Clin Microbiol Rev 22: 146160.[Crossref]
  2. Garcia HH, Jimenez JA, Escalante H, Versalovic J, Carroll KC, Funke G, Jorgensen JH, Landry ML, Warnock DW, , 2011. Cestodes. , eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 10th edition. Washington, DC: American Society for Microbiology Press, 22222229.[Crossref]
  3. Dupouy-Camet J, Peduzzi R, , 2004. Current situation of human Diphyllobothrium in Europe. EuroSurveilli 9: 3135.
  4. Sagua H, Neira I, Araya J, Gonzalez J, , 2001. New cases of Diphyllobothrium pacificum (Nybelin, 1931) Margolis, 1956 human infection in northern Chile, probably related with the El Niño phenomenon, 1975–2000 [in Spanish]. Bol Chil Parasitol 56: 2225.[Crossref]
  5. Terashima A, Marcos L, Maco V, Canales M, Samalvides F, Tello R, , 2009. Spontaneous sedimentation in tube technique (SSTT) for diagnosis of intestinal parasites [in Spanish]. Rev Gastroenterol Peru 29: 305310.
  6. Skeríková A, Brabec J, Kuchta R, Jimenez JA, Garcia HH, Scholz T, , 2006. Is the human-infecting Diphyllobothrium pacificum a valid species or just a South American population of the holarctic fish broad tapeworm, D. latum? Am J Trop Med Hyg 75: 307310.
  7. Wicht B, Yanagida T, Scholz T, Ito A, Jimenez JA, Brabec J, , 2010. Multiplex PCR for differential identification of broad tapeworms (Cestoda: Diphyllobothrium) infecting humans. J Clin Microbiol 48: 31113116.[Crossref]
  8. Pearson RD, Hewlett EL, , 1985. Niclosamide therapy for tapeworm infections. Ann Intern Med 102: 550551.[Crossref]
  9. Lumbreras H, Terashima A, Alvarez H, Tello R, Guerra H, , 1982. Single dose treatment with praziquantel (Cesol R, EmBay 8440) of human cestodiasis caused by Diphyllobothrium pacificum . Tropenmed Parasitol 33: 57.
  10. Anonymous, 1976. Pathogenesis of the tapeworm anaemia. BMJ 2: 1028.
  11. Vuylsteke P, Bertrand C, Verhoef GE, Vandenberghe P, , 2004. Case of megaloblastic anemia caused by intestinal taeniasis. Ann Hematol 83: 487488.[Crossref]
  12. Osorio G, Daiber A, Donckaster R, Ubilla M, Con I, Anguita T, Pinto R, , 1974. Severe megaloblastic anemia due to Diphyllobotrium latum. First case identified in Chile [in Spanish]. Rev Med Chil 102: 700703.
  13. Nyberg W, Grasbeck R, Saarni M, Von Bonsdorff B, , 1961. Serum vitamin B12 levels and incidence of tapeworm anemia in a population heavily infected with Diphyllobothrium latum . Am J Clin Nutr 9: 606612.
  14. Aslinia F, Mazza JJ, Yale SH, , 2006. Megaloblastic anemia and other causes of macrocytosis. Clin Med Res 4: 236241.[Crossref]
  15. Cabrera R, Tantalean M, Rojas R, , 2001. Diphyllobothrium pacificum (Nybelin, 1931) Margolis, 1956 en Canis familiaris de la ciudad de Chincha, Perú. Bol Chil Parasitol 56: 2628.[Crossref]
  16. Araujo A, Ferreira LF, Confalonieri UE, Nunez L, Cruz FO, , 1983. Eggs of Diphyllobothrium pacificum in precolumbian human coprolites. Paleopathology Newsletter 41: 1113.
  17. Reinhard K, Urban O, , 2003. Diagnosing ancient diphyllobothriasis from Chinchorro mummies. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 98 (Suppl 1): 191193.[Crossref]
  18. Ferreira LF, de Araújo AJ, Confalonieri UE, Nuñez L, , 1984. The finding of eggs of Diphyllobothrium in human coprolites (4,100–1,950 bc) from northern Chile. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 79: 175180.[Crossref]
  19. Muñoz ME, Moron CG, , 2005. Manual de Procedimientos de Laboratorio en Tecnicas Basicas de Hematologia. Instituto Nacional de Salud, Serie de Normas Técnicas. Lima: Ministerio de Salud del Peru, 4088.
  20. Anonymous, 2001. Vitamina B12. Elecsys® Sistemas 2010/Modular Analytics E170. Mannheim, Germany: Roche Diagnostics, Code 1.820.753.
  21. Medina JP, Tantalean M, Cano M, , 2002. Diphyllobothrium pacificum en niños del Peru. Diagnostico (Peru) 41: 161164.
  22. Heyneman D, Baron S, , 1996. Chapter 89. Cestodes. Medical Microbiology. Fourth edition. , ed. Galveston, TX: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
  23. Nyberg W, , 1963. Diphyllobothrium latum and human nutrition, with particular reference to vitamin B12 deficiency. Proc Nutr Soc 22: 814.[Crossref]
  24. Donoso-Scroppo M, Raposo L, Reyes H, Godorecci S, Castillo G, , 1986. Megaloblastic anemia induced by Diphyllobothrium latum infection. Rev Med Chil 114: 11711174.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 28 Jan 2012
  • Accepted : 22 Jun 2012

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error