Diphyllobothrium spp

From Cow
Scolex (head) of Diphyllobothrium latum tapeworm

Diphyllobothrium spp are a rare parasitic tapeworm of beef and dairy cattle worldwide.

Diphyllobothrium latum has a world-wide distribution with major foci in the freshwater lakes of Europe, Asia and North America.

The life-cycle includes copepods as first intermediate hosts and cattle as second intermediate hosts, where plerocercoid larvae mature to adult tapeworms in the liver. Hepatic infection with D. latum is usually asymptomatic in cattle. In some cases, mild hepatopathy may occur[1].

Species which are pathogenic to cattle include:

  • Diphyllobothrium latum

Diagnosis is based on coprological examination and finding of larvae in the liver.

Treatment is usually effective with praziquantel.


  1. Grabiec S et al (1972) Determination of trace elements in the tissues of Diphyllobothrium latum, Fasciola hepatica (L) and in the liver of cattle. Bull Acad Pol Sci Biol 20(4):257-259