Trichuris trichiura (Whipworm)


Trichuris trichiura (Whipworm)

USMLE® Step 1 questions

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A researcher is studying a specific helminthic infection. The infection is transmitted via the ingestion of worm eggs found in soil contaminated with human feces. If untreated, children who are infected proceed to develop loose stools, anemia, and rectal prolapse. Which of the following is the most likely nematode being studied? 


Trichuris trichiura, also known as the whipworm, is a parasitic worm that infects the large intestine of humans and other animals. The whipworm is found primarily in warm and humid regions with poor sanitation and hygiene, and it is transmitted through the ingestion of soil contaminated with the eggs of the parasite. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and rectal prolapse. Treatment typically involves antiparasitic medications, such as mebendazole or albendazole, which can effectively kill the parasite.


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