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the dwarf or dwarf mouse tapeworm; a small tapeworm in humans, sometimes found in great numbers in the intestine; the cysticercoid can develop by two pathways: in the final host, with the egg from one human directly infective to another human host, in which both larval and adult stages occur, or through two hosts, an insect (or crustacean) intermediate and a vertebrate final host, the obligate two-host cycle of most cyclophylidean cestodes; in addition, Hymenolepis nana can internally reinfect the same human or rodent host, producing a massive reinfection.
Hy·me·nol·e·pis na·'na, var. fra·ter·'na
a race, strain, or subspecies of Hymenolepis nana adapted to mice, although infectivity to humans may remain; the human form, Hymenolepis nana, presumably is derived from the rodent strain.
A species parasitic in the intestine of rats and mice and common in humans, esp. children. It averages about 1 in (2.51 cm) in length and differs from other tapeworms in that it is capable of completing its life cycle within a single host. The parasite in humans lives in the proximal ileum and can cause severe toxic symptoms, esp. in children, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, irritability, and convulsions that resemble epilepsy. The detection of eggs and gravid segments in the feces confirms the diagnosis of infestation with this parasite. Treatment is with praziquantel. Synonym: dwarf tapeworm; mouse tapeworm; rat tapeworm
See also: Hymenolepis