What is Asian Taenia?
Asian Taenia is a human tapeworm which was first recognized in Taiwan aborigines and subsequently from Asian countries: Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China. It was originally described as T. asiatica Eom and Rim, 1993 based on the morphology in its adult and larval stage. A taxonomic disagreement on whether it is species or subspecies level is mainly due to the morphological similarity of this tapeworm with T. saginata, but a sympatric distribution of these two tapeworms is also known in China. The life cycle is quite distinct from T. saginata in using the pig as intermediate host and parasitizing visceral organs such as liver, lung and omentum. A long unresolved question in Asian countries concerns the inconsistency between worm ratio and the food preferences was clarified with this viscerotropic tapeworm. Molecular biological differentiation is possible with DNA techniques and a complete genome of mtDNA was sequenced recently which may provide a resource for comparative mitochondrial genomics and systematic studies of parasitic cestodes. This is a young parasite discovered most recently with many research questions yet to be clarified.