Beef tapeworm. Macrophotograph of a coiled beef tapeworm, Taenia saginata, which has grown to several metres in length. T. saginata is contract- ed by eating larval cysts in raw or undercooked beef. The cysts develop into adults, attaching themselves by the scolex (narrow end) to the wall of the small intestine. The tapeworm absorbs food that has been digested by its host directly through its surface. The scolex grows a chain-like stobila consisting of egg-carrying proglottides; these break off and pass out of the host in the feces to be consumed by a new victim. Symptoms of infection include abdominal pains, indigestion and hunger.
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