Dipylidium Infection is a common tapeworm infection of dogs and cats caused by Dipylidium caninum. Linnaeus first described dipylidiasis in humans in 1758.Dipylidiasis has a worldwide distribution. Humans become infected by accidental ingestion of dog or cat fleas that contain D caninum cysticercoids (larva). The risk of infection to humans is low. Dipylidiasis in humans occurs through accidental ingestion of the dog or cat flea or the dog louse infected with cysticercoids (the larval form of D caninum). These fleas and lice are the intermediate host for D caninum. Only 16 cases have been reported of D. caninum infections in humans within the last 20 years, and almost all of the cases were found in children. Young children and toddlers are at a greater risk of infection because of how they interact with their pets. A human may attain an infection by accidentally ingesting an infected flea through food contamination or through the saliva of pets. Most infections are asymptomatic, but sometimes these symptoms may be identified in an infected individual: mild diarrhea, abdominal colic, anorexia, restlessness, constipation, rectal itching, and pain due to emerging proglottids through the anal cavity.
The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Dipylidium caninum infection includes the 5 symptoms listed below:
•UrticariaPhysical examination findings in patients with dipylidiasis may be unremarkable. Proglottids of D caninum adherent to perianal hair may be observed as a whitish yellow object.
The differential diagnosis is performed to evaluate the following conditions:
•Pinworms in intestine
•Examination of stool
Generally anti-helminthic agents are used to treat the infection such as praziquantel and niclosamide. A low-protein and lactose-free diet is advised until the symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea have resolved. Dipylidiasis is distributed worldwide, and human infection has been reported in many countries. Dipylidiasis does not appear to have a racial predilection. Males and females are equally susceptible to dipylidiasis.
Dipylidiasis is most common in infants and in children younger than 8 years. Dipylidiasis has been reported in a 5-week-old infant. Cysticercoids develop into adult worms in the small intestine of the host in about 20 days. The adult worm may attain a length of 10-70 cm and is 2-3 mm in diameter. The worms have a lifespan of less than 1 year.