Saturday, July 20, 2024

Australian researchers find a parasitic worm in a woman’s brain for the first time ever.


<p>A brain MRI unveiled a mobile helminth, an 8cm-long parasitic roundworm - identified as 'Ophidascaris robertsi.' (AP)</p>

A brain MRI unveiled a mobile helminth, an 8cm-long parasitic roundworm – identified as ‘Ophidascaris robertsi.’ (AP)

An Australian scientist made a groundbreaking discovery on Tuesday.The discovery of an 8 cm (three inches) long parasitic worm in the brain of a woman in Canberra on Tuesday serves as a reminder of the risks posed by infectious agents that can spread between species. On Tuesday, Australian researchers presented their ground-breaking discovery.

It was found in a 64-year-old patient last year who was undergoing surgery in the Australian capital after complaining of abdominal pain, forgetfulness, and depression. Scientists have identified it as a roundworm that is often found in carpet pythons.

Mystery illness leads doctors to plucking a worm from woman's brain |  National Post

She may have been exposed while hunting for wild grasses that may have been contaminated with python excrement, according to a study of the case that was published on Monday in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

One of the study’s authors, Dr. Sanjaya Senanayake, told Reuters, “You never expect to encounter something living when you operate on someone’s brain and you take a biopsy of something.”

Although parasites in people are known to scientists, a worm this size had never been observed in a human before, he continued.

It was undoubtedly an experience we won’t soon forget.

Senanayake hailed the woman as being “very courageous” and she was released from the hospital but is currently being followed.

According to the journal paper, scientists refer to the parasite species as Ophidascaris robertsi. (Reporting from Sydney by Cordelia Hsu; writing by Alasdair Pal.

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