Trichocephalosis: symptoms and treatment

Trichocephalosis (trichyuriasis, trichurosis) is a disease of a parasitic nature that leads to a disruption in the functioning of the digestive and nervous system. The cause of the development of the disease is the pathological effect of the pathogen. The main risk group is children and adolescents.

The disease is expressed in a large number of nonspecific symptoms, including abdominal pain syndrome, stool disorder, nausea and vomiting, sleep disorders and headaches.

Put the correct diagnosis and identify the causative agent of the disease can only be through laboratory research. Treatment in adults and children is limited to such a conservative technique as taking medication.


The pathological agent causing the disease is a round helminth — a whipworm, which in length can exceed five centimeters. Vital activity of the parasite in the human body begins with the cecum, but with a massive invasion the pathogen can live in all parts of the colon.

The female vaginal head releases more than three thousand eggs a day, which fall into the soil with the feces of the infected. In such an environment, the larvae reach their invasive stage. Life-preserving microorganisms are preserved for two years. In the external environment, only strong drought and insolation can neutralize them.

The path of infection with trichocephalosis is fecal-oral. Mature eggs can enter the human body as follows:

  • through contaminated hands
  • eating of seeded berries, fruits, vegetables and herbs
  • Drinking of doubtful quality water.

The causative agent penetrates the body with food and liquids in the digestive tract. After the larvae leave the eggs, they enter the walls of the cecum and within one and a half months are transformed into adult individuals.

The head part of his body slips through the wall of this affected organ, and his free end hangs into the lumen of the intestine. The duration of parasitism in a person can last up to seven years.

In the vast majority of cases, children are exposed to illnesses, because they may not have hygienic habits, as well as people who have constant contact with the soil.

In addition, there is a correlation between the frequency of infection and at times the year. The incidence significantly increases in the spring-autumn period.


The disease exists in several forms:

  1. acute;
  2. chronic.

As it progresses, trichyuriasis goes through several stages:

  • compensated
  • subclinical — is observed with moderate helminthic invasion and is expressed only in a minor pain syndrome in the right ileal zone
  • Manifest
  • complicated.


In the clinical picture of Trichorus, signs of a disruption of the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system predominate. The development of such symptoms is due to the following pathogenic effects of parasites:

  1. traumatizing the intestinal mucosa — on this background, foci of hemorrhage and erosion begin to form. Against the background of the influence of a specific substance, which excretes the causative agent, the membrane of this organ acquires a semi-liquid state suitable for feeding the parasite;
  2. violation of the process of absorption of water in the large intestine — because of this there are problems with the stool — its liquefaction is noted
  3. the development of allergic reactions, which occurs due to the influence of the products of vital activity of the pathogenic organism. Because of the release of toxins, the functioning of the nervous system is disrupted;
  4. damage to the blood vessels, which leads to the development of iron deficiency anemia.

Thus, the following symptoms of trichocephalosis on the part of the digestive system are observed in a person:

  • Decrease or total absence of appetite
  • nausea, which ends with emetic urges that improve a person’s condition
  • increased saliva secretion
  • alternating constipation and diarrhea
  • the appearance of blood impurities in the stool;
  • painful and often false urge to empty the bowels
  • prolapse of the rectum
  • A strong pain syndrome, which in some patients does not have a clear localization, while in others it is felt in the epigastrium or in the right iliac region
  • bloating.

Symptoms of an illness in a child or adult from the CNS lesion:

  1. causeless weakness of the body
  2. Insomnia
  3. intense headaches and dizziness;
  4. increased irritability;
  5. a pre-unconscious condition.

Trichocephalosis in children, in addition to the above manifestations, is expressed in:

  • unconsciousness
  • convulsive seizures
  • pronounced signs of lag in the physical development of the child.


To identify the cause of the above symptoms in the patient’s physician initially needed:

  1. clarify the patient’s complaints — to identify the first time of appearance and to assess the severity of the symptoms of the disease
  2. collect an anamnesis of the patient’s illness and life — to identify the path of infection

  • conduct a thorough physical examination, which must necessarily include palpation of the anterior wall of the abdominal cavity.

For the diagnosis of trichocephalosis the following laboratory methods of examination are prescribed:

  1. a clinical and biochemical blood test — will show the possible presence of anemia, leukocytosis and an increase in ESR
  2. general urine analysis
  3. microscopic examination of feces for occult blood and detection of the presence of protozoa or helminth particles

Instrumental diagnosis of the disease in adults and children implies:

  • Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity;
  • Colonoscopy
  • sigmoidoscopy

In addition to establishing the correct diagnosis, such a survey will help differentiate trichocephalosis from the following ailments:

  1. gastroenteritis of viral or bacterial nature;
  2. ulcerative colitis
  3. inflammation of the appendix,
  4. Other forms of helminthiosis.


The diagnosis of «trichocephalosis» does not include hospitalization of the patient, but the exception may be the presence of severe concomitant ailments or complications.

Treatment of such a disease is based on the use of anthelmintic drugs, which there are several types:

  • the former have a direct effect on the parasite, leading to changes in its tissues and death. Often enough three days of drug therapy, so that all slagheads perish;
  • The second category of antibacterial drugs also affects the parasite, but already on its smooth muscles, thereby causing its contraction. This leads to the fact that the causative agent can no longer hold its body in the intestinal wall, against the background of which it leaves the human body in a natural way, that is, with feces.

The clinician individually selects the daily dosage of medications and the duration of the course of medication for each patient, depending on several factors:

  1. the age category of the patient
  2. the state of the immune system
  3. the presence of concomitant diseases or complications

In addition to anthelmintic drugs, medication also includes:

  • Vitamin Complexes
  • Enzymes;
  • iron preparations;
  • Probiotics

The effectiveness of the treatment is assessed using a laboratory study of stool, which is performed in two weeks, and a month after the beginning of the treatment of the disease.

Possible complications

The consequences of ignoring the symptoms and the late treatment of the disease in a child or adult are rare. However, it is considered to be complications:

  1. ulcerative disease of the duodenum or stomach;
  2. intestinal dysbacteriosis
  3. severe depletion of the patient
  4. anemia
  5. Acute appendicitis.

Prevention and Forecast

In order to avoid contamination with the slag, several simple general rules must be observed. Thus, the prevention of trichocephalus consists of:

  • consumption of washed fruits and vegetables, as well as after the passage of heat treatment
  • drinking water from trusted sources
  • personal hygiene;
  • Regular full preventive medical examination.

The prognosis of the disease is favorable, since trichocephalus responds well to conservative therapy and does not involve surgical intervention.