A genus of the class Cestoda that is comprised of tapeworms that cause taeniasis and cysticercosis
Taenia is a genus of the class Cestoda. It is a type of helminth (parasitic flatworms). There are about a hundred of species known to belong to this group. Some of the species are Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm), Taenia solium (pork tapeworm), Taenia asiatica (Asian taenia), Taenia pisiformis (tapeworm of wild dogs and rabbits), etc. All of the species of this genus are strongly similar in form and biology. They appear as ribbonlike. The ribbonlike body structure is due to the long and slender and is called strobila. The strobila is comprised of a series of proglottids. The proglottid is produced from the neck connecting the head (called scolex) and the strobila. The distal proglottids are mature in a way that they contain the eggs. The scolex has bothria that act as suction cups.
Taenia spp. are hermaphrodite. They reproduce sexually by self-fertilization. The eggs are released to the outside through the anus. The intermediate host that feed on fodder contaminated with embryonated Taenia eggs (oncospheres) becomes infected. The larva from the egg is released. It, then, migrates to the tissues of the host and encyst. The definite host that feeds on raw or undercooked meat contaminated with the larval stage (cysticercus) of Taenia becomes infested. The larva moves to the intestines to further grow and mature into an adult worm. The worm absorbs nutrients from the food digested in the intestine through its skin.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Platyhelminthes
- Class: Cestoda
- Order: Cyclophyllidea
- Family: Taeniidae
- Genus: Taenia (Linnaeus, 1758)