Whipworm infection is caused by ingesting eggs. This can happen when hands or fingers that have contaminated dirt on them are put in the mouth or by consuming vegetables or fruits that have not been carefully cooked, washed or peeled. Children living in poverty in developing countries are often infected by at least one and, in many cases, all three soil-transmitted helminthes.
People infected with whipworm can suffer light or heavy infections. People with light infections usually have no symptoms. People with heavy symptoms can experience frequent, painful passage of stool that contains a mixture of mucus, water, and blood. Rectal prolapse can also occur. Children with heavy infections can become severely anemic and growth-retarded.
Trichuriasis can be treated with anthelmintics, including fenbendazole, febantel, mebendazole, dichlorvos and butamisole. Milbemycin oxime or a combination of diethylcarbamazine and oxibendazole, used as a heartworm preventative, are effective in dogs. Hygromycin B, as a continuous feed additive, can be used to control T. suis in pigs. Trichuris spp. are treated with anthelmintics, including mebendazole, albendazole and oxantel.