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Egg of Hymenolepis diminuta

Eggs of Hymenolepis diminuta. These eggs are round or slightly oval, size 70 - 85 µm X 60 - 80 µm, with a striated outer membrane and a thin inner membrane. The space between the membranes is smooth or faintly granular. The oncosphere has six hooks. There are no polar filaments extending into the space between the oncosphere and the outer shell.

Hymenolepiasis is caused by two cestodes (tapeworm) species, Hymenolepis nana (the dwarf tapeworm, adults measuring 15 to 40 mm in length) and Hymenolepis dimnuta (rat tapeworm, adults measuring 20 to 60 cm in length). Hymenolepis diminuta is a cestode of rodents infrequently seen in humans and frequently found in rodents.

Hymenolepis nana and H. diminuta infections are most often asymptomatic. Heavy infections with H. nana can cause weakness, headaches, anorexia, abdominal pain, and diarrhea

Photo credit: Georgia Department of Public Health.

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