(Pinworm Infection in Children and Adults, Enterobiasis)
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- Pinworms facts
- What is pinworm infection in humans?
- Who is at risk for getting pinworms?
- Pinworms in children
- Pinworms in adults
- What do pinworms look like (pinworm pictures)?
- How is pinworm infection spread?
- What are the symptoms of pinworms?
- How is pinworm infection diagnosed?
- What is the treatment of pinworms, and is there a home treatment?
- What are the consequences of untreated pinworms?
- How are pinworms prevented?
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- Pinworm infections are caused by worm-like parasites that infect humans' intestines and rectal/anal areas.
- Young children and their household members are at risk for pinworm infections.
- Pinworms are visible. They range in size from 2-13 mm, are white, and resemble a worm but the pinworm eggs are small, transparent and can be seen only with a microscope.
- Pinworm infections are spread person-to-person by ingesting pinworm eggs that have contaminated fingers, bedding, clothing or other items.
- The symptoms of pinworm infection are discomfort and itching in the anal/rectal area. Children especially will scratch the rectal/anal area, get eggs on their fingers or underneath their fingernails and transport the infective eggs to bedding, toys, other humans, or back to themselves. The eggs hatch into larval forms in the small intestines and then progress to the large intestine where they mature, mate, and progress to the rectal/anal area where females deposit about 10 to 15 thousand eggs.
What is pinworm infection in humans?
Pinworm infection is an infection of the large intestine and anal area by a small, white parasite that resembles a "worm." The medical name for the parasite is Enterobius vermicularis, but it is commonly termed a pinworm in both the lay and medical literature. These parasites are also termed seatworms or threadworms, and the infections is medically termed enterobiasis or helminthiasis. Pinworms and other parasitic worms (which, as a group, are termed helminths) feed off of the host animal by adsorbing nutrients from the host animal. Pinworm infections are the most common helminth infection that occurs in the US.
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