Enterobius Pin Worm

Organism A nematode worm Enterobius vermicularis.

Clinical features The main symptom is intense pruritis ani. Heavy infections can rarely cause appendicitis or salpingitis in the female.

Transmission The gravid female migrates out of the anus at night to lay her eggs on the perianal skin before dying. This activity of the female causes the patient to scratch so that eggs are transferred to the fingers where they are swallowed or passed on to someone else. Eggs are thrown into the air such as during bed making or sweeping and so are often inhaled. Masses of eggs are liberated on each occasion so that infection of family groups, dormitories of school children, etc. occur at the same time.

Diagnosis Eggs can be collected from the perianal skin by using an adhesive tape slide. This is examined directly by microscope, the characteristic oval egg with flattened side measuring 50-60 mm by 2030 mm (Fig. 9.1) being seen.

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