Diphyllobothrium latum is a cestode, or tapeworm.
Patients become infected with diphyllobothrium after ingesting larvae from raw fish.
Roughly 80% of patients infected are asymptomatic and can go for years without having their infection detected. The parasite then absorbs up to 80% or more of the host's B12 intake, which leads to megaloblastic anemia.
The B12 deficiency in patients can lead to a megaloblastic anemia, which is indistinguishable from pernicious anemia. This megaloblastic anema can also translate into subtle demyelinative neurological symptoms.
The standard treatment for this infection is praziquantel, but it should be noted that this is treatment regimen is not FDA approved.
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