A total of 57 cestode species were reported from humans. Some of these are not "true" parasites of humans (the infections with them are accidental). However, six species are considered of great public health significance because they are agents of serious and widespread diseases. In 1999, when the human population was almost 6 billion persons, the estimate of the numbers of infected humans (in millions) was as follows: Taenia saginata—77.0, Hymenolepis nana—75.0, Taenia solium —10.0, Diphyllobothrium latum—9.0, and Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus multilocularis (considered together)—2.7.
Numerous cestode species are of primary importance for veterinary medicine. Several species of Taeniidae are major parasites of domestic ruminants (Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia multiceps, T. hydatigena, and T. ovis). Members of the family Anoplocephalidae are important parasites of horses, ruminants, and rabbits. Some taeniids, mesocestoidids, and dipylidiids are frequent parasites of dogs and cats. Among the parasites of domestic birds, the most common are members of the families Hymenolepididae and Davaineidae.
Cestodes of the order Caryophyllidea, Pseudophyllidea, and Proteocephalidea may cause significantly reduced production in fish farming operations.
1. Phyllobothrlum squall, 2. Broad flsh tapeworm (Dlphyllobothrlum latum), S. Amphlllna follacea, 4. Proteocephalus longlcollls, S. Caryophyllaeus latlceps. (Illustratlon by Brlan Cressman)
1. Dog tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus); 2. Beef tapeworm (Taenia saginata); 3. Davainea proglottina; 4. Moniezia benedeni; 5. Tatria biremis; 6. Progynotaenia odhneri. (Illustration by Brian Cressman)
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