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(ĕn″tĕr-ō-băk-tē″rē-ā′sē-ē) A family of gram-negative, non-spore-forming, facultatively anaerobic bacilli. Some are intestinal pathogens, others are usually normal colonizers of the human intestinal tract. Included in the family are Shigella, Salmonella, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Proteus, Enterobacter, and Yersinia.


(ĕn″tĕr-ō-bī′ĕ-sĭs) [Gr. enteron, intestine, + bios, life] Infestation with pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis). SYN: oxyuriasis.


(ent″ĕ-rō-bil′ē-er-ē) [entero- + biliary] Pert. to the intestines and the bile passages.


(ent″ĕ-rō′bē-ŭs) [entero- + Gr. bios, life] A genus of parasitic nematode worms, formerly Oxyuris.

E. vermicularis A species that causes enterobiasis. The small, white adult worms live in the cecum and adjacent portions of the colon; at night the females migrate to the anus and lay their eggs on the perianal skin. The eggs hatch by morning. Infestations cause irritation of the anal region and allergic reaction of the neighboring skin, accompanied by intense itching, which may result in loss of sleep, excessive irritability, and a secondary infection of the area around the anus from scratching. Distribution is worldwide. The infection is most prevalent among preschool and school-age children. It is estimated that in temperate climates 20% of children have this condition. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pinworms infect 40 million children and adults in the U.S. Female worms average 8 to 13 mm in length and males 2 to 5 mm. The species was formerly called Enterobius vermicularis. SYN: pinworm.

 DIAGNOSIS: The presence of adult worms in feces or on the anus confirms the diagnosis. Transparent, pressure-sensitive tape or an adhesive pinworm paddle may be applied to the perianal area and then examined microscopically for eggs. This latter test is more likely to be positive in the morning before bathing, urinating, or defecating.

 TREATMENT: Pyrantel pamoate, albendazole, or mebendazole is effective.

PATIENT CARE: Family members and other close contacts of infected persons should be assessed and treated as necessary. During treatment tight-fitting sleepwear should be used to prevent the eggs from contaminating bedding. The house, bedding, and night clothes must be thoroughly cleaned for several days during treatment. Infected individuals should trim their nails short and bathe every morning on arising, using a clean washcloth and towel each time. An infected child can return to school or daycare once he/she has received one dose of medication, been bathed, and had fingernails trimmed. To eradicate pinworms and prevent reinfection, children, parents, teachers, and other close contacts should be taught how to perform hand hygiene correctly, and to perform this throughout the day, esp. before food preparation or eating and after toileting or diaper changes, handling underwear or bed linens, or touching any potentially contaminated objects.



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