Cestodes Diphyllobothrium

There is, today, no reliable estimate of the prevalence of Diphyllobothrium latum, but it seems that prevalence has decreased during the last few decades. Human infections have been followed in eastern Finland from 1960 to 1978, and during that time the infection rate dropped from 18 to about 4.5% (Bonsdorff and Bylund 1982). During 1950-1970 the total infection rate in the Finnish population decreased from about 20 to 1.8% (Wikstrom 1972), and by the 1980s the prevalence of D. latum had decreased further to 1.4% (Kyronseppa 1993).

In the beginning of the 1970s Roneus and Dalborg (1975) investigated 65 lakes and 12 coastal areas of the Baltic Sea in Sweden. Infected fish were present in 75% of the lakes and in 58% of the coastal areas. In Lake Malaren, 74% of the fish were infected, and in 1999 the figure has decreased to around 30% (Arvid Uggla, personal communication). The results from coastal areas show that most of the infected fish were found in the northern part of the Baltic Sea. Experience from Sweden has demonstrated that through adequate sanitary programs it is possible to eradicate the infection from an endemic centre within 10 years. In such cases the worm carriers were identified, dewormed, and provisional water-purification plants were replaced by modern and more efficient plants (Almer 1974).

Other cestode infections

Taenia saginata is found in cattle, but it is rarely transmitted to humans. There are no cases of Taenia solium reported since the beginning of the twentieth century.

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