Identification of species of human tapeworms is crucial because the consequences of infection by Taenia solium and T saginata are very different. However, evacuation of species-identifiable tapeworms is uncommon and Taenia spp eggs are indistinguishable under the microscope. Treatment of taeniasis consists of niclosamide followed by a purgative. Recently, we adopted preniclosamide and postniclosamide electrolyte-polyethyleneglycol salt (EPS) purges to improve bowel cleaning. Retrospective comparison of traditional castor oil with EPS purge showed that recovery of the tapeworm scolex was significantly improved (20 of 68 vs none of 46, p=0·0001) in the EPS group. Furthermore, 42 of 68 (62%) individuals receiving EPS excreted identifiable gravid proglottids. EPS treatment helps the visual identification of Taenia spp.
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