Dipylidium caninum is a tapeworm that can cause intestinal infection in humans, which is typically asymptomatic.
D. caninum, the double-pored tapeworm, is present in dogs and cats. Fleas are the intermediate host. Ingestion of an infected flea, usually by a young child, causes an asymptomatic, self-limited infection, but proglottids (tapeworm segments) may be seen in stool.
Treatment is with a single oral dose of praziquantel 5 to 10 mg/kg. Alternatively, a single 2-g dose of niclosamide (unavailable in the US) is given as 4 tablets (500 mg each) that are chewed one at a time and swallowed. For children, the dose is 50 mg/kg (maximum 2 g) once. The infection is self-limited in humans and usually resolves spontaneously in 6 weeks.
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