Photo: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Unusual diet of the Chinese family helped to prove that centipedes can be hosts of the parasitic worm Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This publication reports the South China Morning Post, citing a publication in the American journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
The discovery was made after Jessensky a hospital in Guangzhou received a 78-year-old woman and her 46-year-old son from rural areas of Guangdong province. Both complained of headaches and drowsiness, which overcame them a few weeks in a row.
The tests showed that the symptoms are caused by a viral or bacterial infection. After that, the doctors studied their spinal fluid and noticed the high content of eosinophilic granulocytes. This could indicate infection of parasites.
As it turned out, the problems caused by rat lung worm Angiostrongylus cantonensis. He usually resides in the pulmonary arteries of rats, and its intermediate host are snails, and other mollusks. It was believed that people can become infected by eating raw shellfish, as well as dirty water or vegetables.
Patients admitted that eating raw centipedes. “We rarely hear about the people who are eating raw centipedes, says researcher Department of neurology Jaczynski hospital Linley Lou. — However, those two believed that raw centipedes are beneficial to health”.
Mother and son have been prescribed Anthelmintics albendazole. Three weeks later they were healthy.
Researchers purchased 20 centipedes in the same market in Guangdong, where they bought the mother and son who have the parasite. Seven of them found DNA from Angiostrongylus cantonensis. First it was thought that centipedes do not carry these worms.
During the next experiment of the centipede infected with the same parasite. As a result, all 20 individuals died. This may indicate that the centipede can only be a temporary host for Angiostrongylus cantonensis.
Getting in the human brain, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, causes meningoencephalitis, leading to disruption of the Central nervous system, and in severe cases, death. The larvae usually die, but they are formed around areas of necrosis of brain tissue. Symptoms include headaches, fever, vomiting, nausea, and a paralysis of the facial muscles and extremities.
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