Are there parasites that are not worms

Parasites: These parasites nestle secretly in humans

Lice, ticks and worms are parasites. They are parasites and have perfected it to settle down quickly and secretly with people and to live like the maggot in bacon. This article tells you what they are, what they do and whether they are dangerous.

Not all parasites are created equal. Basically, they are differentiated according to the way in which they penetrate the host's body. Ecto- or external parasites live on the body surface. They include mites, ticks, lice, fleas, bed bugs and mosquitos. They too can cause diseases or transmit infections.

Endoparasites such as worms or leeches, on the other hand, settle inside the host, often in the intestine but also in other organs such as the liver, muscles or skin. Parasites have in common that they lay eggs and thus multiply and spread. We introduce some of the most unpleasant fellows here.


There are ticks all over the world. The common wood tick is the most common in this country. Ticks are the number one carrier of disease among parasites. You can infect the host with borreliosis, early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE), babesiosis or ehrlichiosis, among other things.

Read here how to protect yourself from ticks and how to remove the animals.

(Source: imago)

Fox tapeworm

This worm, two to four millimeters long, lives mainly in different species of fox. In humans, the larvae can get into the liver, lungs or brain and cause what is known as alveolar echinococcosis. In the process, cysts form in the affected organs, which often lead to the death of the host. It can take up to 15 years for the first symptoms to appear. It can be transmitted to humans, for example, if you eat wild berries that grow near the ground. Because sometimes blackberries, raspberries or blueberries are contaminated with the faeces of infected foxes. Dogs and cats can also excrete such larvae with their faeces.

You can find more information about the fox tapeworm here

Head region of the fox tapeworm (source: dpa)


This unicellular organism can also be transmitted through contact with cat feces. In the majority of those affected, it does not trigger any symptoms worth mentioning. However, the parasite is problematic for pregnant women. The toxoplasmosis it triggers can lead to miscarriages in the early phase. The baby's brain, eyes and other organs can also be severely damaged. In addition, the child can develop hydrocephalus (head of water).

Further information on the infectious disease toxoplasmosis is available here.

(Source: wikipedia)

Loa loa

This little guy with the harmless, melodic sounding name will too Eyeworm called. It occurs exclusively in West Africa and is transmitted through the bite of different types of horseflies. The worms left behind in the host visibly migrate under the skin and cause inflammation there. If they get into the eye, they can cause extreme pain there. Such a subtenant can be up to 17 years old.

(Source: dpa)


A tapeworm can mainly be caught by eating raw or insufficiently heated meat. Beef, pork and fish tapeworms are among the types that can cause infectious diseases in humans. As a rule, the worms, which can be up to 15 meters long depending on the species, settle in the intestine. There they can cause digestive problems and nausea, but they can also linger without the person noticing. However, certain species can also migrate to the brain or liver. Then life-threatening diseases threaten.

(Source: imago)


There are hookworms all over the world. Travelers are particularly often infected with the larvae in the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and South America when they go barefoot on the beach. The parasite is transmitted by stray dogs and cats. It is estimated that almost a billion people in the world are infected with hookworms. Around 60,000 of them die each year as a result of the infection, especially in the tropics and subtropics. The worm can be treated well with medication. If left untreated, however, an infection leads to bloody diarrhea, edema and swelling in affected parts of the body.

(Source: dpa)


They are also among the most common causes of worm infections. The worms are ingested through insufficiently heated meat and, depending on the stage of infestation, can trigger a wide range of symptoms in humans. This ranges from fatigue, insomnia and gastrointestinal complaints to muscle pain, breathing difficulties, palpitations and swelling of the face. If the infestation is very severe, the symptoms can be life-threatening.

(Source: dpa)

Liver fluke

This leech nests, as its name suggests, in the host's liver. Humans ingest it by consuming watercress or raw sheep and goat liver. It can cause liver fluke disease (fasciolosis), which is accompanied by abdominal pain, enlarged liver, and fever. In the case of chronic infestation, leukemia can even develop.

(Source: dpa)

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.