Man lived for four years with a worm inside his brain. A simple travel to China infected a British man with a parasite who inhabited his brain and caused him severe symptoms that endangered his health.
It happened four years ago, when a British citizen of a Chinese descent, had recently returned after a visit in China, a country that along with Thailand and Japan have a large spread of a parasite known as the tape worm.
The man was experiencing weird headaches which at first lead doctors to assume it was tuberculosis. But after some time has passed, the man came back with different symptoms. But what they discovered what unbelievable. They found a worm living in his skull which was moving from one side of his brain to another.
A tape worm had reached inside his brain and was pushing on certain areas that caused his legs to feel weak and was giving him acute headaches. The diagnostic given by the doctors was called Sparganosis. Due to the rare incidence of the infection, there hasn’t yet been developed a drug for it and doctors’s alternative was to remove it surgically.
Apparently, the infected patient could have ingested infected water by accident while he was swimming in a lake and from that point the worm travelled inside his body,and can settle in the brain or other organs. If not discovered in time, the tape worm can lead to blindness, can cause damage tissue, paralysis and in critical situation even death.
Scientists sequenced the worms genes hoping to learn more about this parasite for future treatment.
For the past 60 years, there have been only 300 cases of Spirometry infections known by Western medicine, even though it is believed that in Asia they are more common, especially in the rural areas.. The experts from the Cambridge, Welcome Trust Sanger Institute admitted that this is a very mysterious parasite which has a complicated life cycle and very little is known about it.
Adults tapeworm live only in the intestines of cats and dogs, but their eggs are found in the animals’s faeces and from there they can contaminate water. The parasite’s larva can resist in the water using as hosts certain types of crustaceans or snakes and frogs.
The team of researchers have analysed the genetic material of the worm they had extracted from the Chinese patient and this could provide valuable information about its resistance to medication and arrive to finding a proper cure.
Image Source: Fox News
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