Humans are the only known host of T trichiura. The organism is spread via the fecal-oral route. Potential hosts ingest the embryonated (mature) eggs. The eggs hatch in the small intestine, and the larvae attach to and penetrate the small intestinal mucosa, where they begin to mature.
After approximately one week, the immature worms move passively to the large intestine and proximal colon. The worms' anterior portions penetrate the mucosal epithelium and the worms can imbed over one half of their length into the mucosal surface.
- Generally, physical examination findings are normal.
- Each worm causes an estimated 5 µL of blood loss every day.
- Heavy infections are required to cause anemia.
- Prolonged infections are reported to lead to growth failure, intellectual delays, and digital clubbing; however, growth and intellectual delays are likely to be multifactorial.
- The organism is spread via the fecal-oral route. Potential hosts ingest the embryonated (mature) eggs.
- Most heavy infections are observed in the pediatric population because children are more likely to have poor hygiene and to play in soil that carries the worms' mature eggs.
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