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Hymenolepis diminuta Infection

By

Richard D. Pearson

, MD, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Mar 2020| Content last modified Mar 2020
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Hymenolepis diminuta is a tapeworm that can cause intestinal infection in humans.

H. diminuta, the rat tapeworm, has a life cycle similar to the indirect cycle of Hymenolepis nana involving grain insects. H. diminuta is 20 to 60 cm in length. Human infection is usually asymptomatic, it but can cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms.

Diagnosis is by finding characteristic eggs in stool.

Treatment of Hymenolepis diminuta Infection

  • Praziquantel

  • Alternatively, nitazoxanide or, outside the US, niclosamide

H. diminuta infection is effectively treated with

  • Praziquantel 25 mg/kg orally once

Alternatives include nitazoxanide and niclosamide (not available in the US).

For nitazoxanide, dosage is

  • For patients > 11 years: 500 mg orally 2 times a day for 3 days

  • For children aged 4 to 11 years: 200 mg orally 2 times a day for 3 days

  • For children aged 1 to 4 years: 100 mg orally 2 times a day for 3 days

For niclosamide, dosage is

  • For adults: 2 g orally once/day for 7 days

  • For children > 34 kg: 1.5 g in a single dose on day 1, then 1 g once/day for 6 days

  • For children 11 to 34 kg: 1 g in a single dose on day 1, then 500 mg once/day for 6 days

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