Pork Tapeworm: Can Taenia Solium Spread to People?

Taenia Solium in pigs or pork tapeworm is a common parasite that making pigs very sick

Taenia Solium (Pork Tapeworm) Zoonotic

Taenia Solium, also known as pork tapeworm or armed tapeworm, is a common parasite that affects pigs, making them very sick. The adult tapeworms are found in the small bowel of a pig and can reach a length of 26.24 feet. These parasitic worms can produce up to 50,000 eggs.

Tapeworm infestation is zoonotic; humans contract it when eating poorly cooked pork.

Causes of Taenia Solium

The infection starts when pigs live closely together, where sanitation is questionable.

Pigs are infected with the parasite when they eat the parasite’s eggs through fecally contaminated food. Once ingested, the eggs will hatch, and the tapeworm will penetrate the intestinal walls and eventually go towards the pig muscles.

Symptoms of Taenia Solium

A few symptoms of Tapeworm infestation are:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hunched over
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite

Treating Taenia Solium

As a single dose, Praziquantel can be used to eliminate adult worms. Your vet will request a stool sample from your pig to verify if the treatment is working. 

You can also give your pigs a single dose of Niclosamide, which is four tablets. Give your pig four tablets to chew, one at a time, with a small quantity of water. Humans must take medication such as Biltricide to paralyze and kill the tapeworm. Vaccine studies are underway. 


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Talitha van Niekerk

Hi, I’m Talitha van Niekerk, and I made the leap to farm animal ownership when I decided to fulfil my lifelong passion to own horses. Now, over a decade later, I run a public stable facility on 180 acres of land, caring for over 75 horses of all breeds and sizes. I love to write about my experiences, sharing the knowledge I have gained and helping others achieve their life’s passion to live on the land. See my about page here.

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