Wriggling Brain Parasite Discovered in Australia
Wriggling Brain Parasite Discovered in Australia: A 64-year-old woman in Australia went to the hospital for abdominal pain, cough, and fever. After scanning her brain, the doctors discovered an abnormality that required surgery.
To their surprise, they found a wriggling parasite in her brain, leaving the medical staff present in shock.
The New York Times was the first to report the incident. The woman had been experiencing discomfort for three weeks and sought medical attention in January 2021. The following year, her condition worsened, and she began experiencing symptoms of forgetfulness and depression, leading to a referral to Canberra Hospital.
During an MRI scan, it was discovered that she had “atypical lesions” in the front part of her brain, prompting neurosurgeons to determine that her brain was showing abnormal conditions that required surgery.
Dr. Sanjaya Senanayake, an infectious disease doctor at Canberra Hospital, told the media that he received a call from a colleague who anxiously exclaimed, “Oh my God, I just found a living, wriggling worm in this woman’s brain!”
Experts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia identified the parasite as “Ophidascaris robertsi,” commonly found in pythons. This is the first known case of human infection with this type of worm.
It was speculated that the woman may have come into contact with the feces of a carpet python. Canberra Hospital sought assistance from external experts, and the CSIRO confirmed the parasite’s identification.
The woman lived near a lake where carpet pythons are known to roam. Although she did not have direct contact with the snakes, she frequently collected herbaceous plants near the lake for cooking.
Doctors and scientists believe that the patient likely touched or ingested plants contaminated with python feces, which contained parasite eggs, leading to the infection.
Due to the possibility of other parasite larvae in her organs, such as the liver, the woman is still undergoing treatment and observation.