Roundworm Infections

A comprehensive overview of roundworm covering subjects like cure, treatment, symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
Roundworm Infections

Roundworm infections

     Ascaris lumbricoides is the largest intestinal worm, which produces one of the most common parasitic infections in humans - roundworm, usually in environments with poor hygiene. The parasites dimensions vary between 15 and 25 cm for adult males and 25-35 cm for females. Worms may have a thickness of a pencil and live up to two years. Roundworm Infection is more serious because the number of parasites is higher. From this perspective, children are more prone to the appearance of intestinal obstruction, having lower intestines.

     Once ingested, the eggs reach the intestines where they hatch. Larvae reach the intestine wall, and then circulate through the bloodstream to the liver and lungs, rises in the throat, where they are swallowed. Such worms come again in the small intestine, where grow, mature and lay eggs. The worms reach maturity in two months after ingestion.

     Man gets a roundworm infection by eating unwashed contaminated food and water contaminated with eggs.

     The roundworm female is 20-40 cm long; the male is 15-120 cm long. The parasite body is elongated, cylindrical, with the ends straight to female and the back end of the male bend. Females remove undeveloped eggs, non-infectious, which are leaving the host through feces.

Roundworm transmission mode

     The embryonic eggs occur on soil in favorable conditions of temperature and humidity, within 20-30 days. Then in the egg is formed the larvae. Swallowing the egg, the egg reaches the small intestine, where the larvae leave the egg and passes into the intestinal mucosa. Thus, through blood circulation, reach the liver and then lung.

     In the first four days the larvae stay in the liver and in lungs in the next 6 days. Larva passes through the alveolar wall and reaches the alveoli, then bronchiole, bronchi, trachea, pharynx. Then they are swallowed or removed by coughing. After swallowing, the larvae reach the intestine where adults get 60 days to remove the eggs, which can be eliminated by feces.

     Within 2-4 weeks, according to the external environment, from the egg gets out the infectious larvae. Thus the cycle is repeated.

     Human host response against this parasite is based on disease stage and is different in the two phases of evolution through time and intensity of the reaction. In primary roundworm infection of larvae passing through the liver and lung does not cause significant pathological events, but only if hundreds of larvae migrate simultaneously.

     In repeated roundworm infections, as a result of sensitization of the host, intense reactions may occur even though a small number of larvae are involved. The roundworm infection affects children's development and feed status.

Roundwom complications

     Complications are due to large size of the parasites and their tendency to migrate, and causes: intestinal obstruction, perforation or peritonitis.

     Parasite penetration in the biliary tract produces mechanical jaundice, in the liver it produces hepatic abscess and in the nasal cavity cause asphyxia.

     The roundworm allergen is one of the most powerful and can cause hypersensitivity reactions in the skin (hives) or eye (conjunctivitis, blepharitis).

Roundwom diagnosis

     Diagnosis is based on identification of adult parasites, larvae or egg.

     The adult is eliminated through the anus and rarely through mouth. It can be found in the intestine by surgery or barium radiologic examination. Larvae can be identified in sputum, in gastric juice in between 8-16 s after infection.

     Eggs can be highlighted in the feces 60-70 days after infection with methods of concentration (Kato method).


     Surgery is necessary in case of heavy roundworm infestation, to restore the damaged tissue and to remove the worms. Surgical treatment is recommended in situations such as obstruction or intestinal perforation, obstruction of bile ducts, appendix, etc.