Un caz medical unic în istoria medicală a fost înregistrat în Australia, unde o femeie în vârstă de 64 de ani a avut un vierme parazitar de 8 cm îndepărtat din creierul său. Femeia, care suferea de uitare și depresie, a fost internată în spital în ianuarie 2021, după trei săptămâni de dureri abdominale și diaree, urmate de tuse uscată și transpirații nocturne.
Simptomele ei s-au înrăutățit în 2022, incluzând uitarea și depresia, ceea ce a determinat medicii să o trimită la spitalul din Canberra. Un RMN al creierului său a relevat prezența unui vierme rotund parazitar motil în leziunea lobului frontal drept al creierului său. Operația a devenit singura opțiune, iar medicii au reușit să îndepărteze viermele, care măsura 8 cm în lungime și 1 mm în diametru.
Cazul, documentat în jurnalul Emerging Infectious Diseases, a fost identificat ca fiind o larvă în stadiul trei a speciei de nematode Ophidascaris robertsi și este fără precedent în istoria medicală. De obicei, acest vierme parazitar trăiește în tractul digestiv al pitonilor de covor indigeni din statul australian New South Wales.
Specialiștii medicali suspectează că femeia a ingerat în mod accidental ouăle viermelui prin consumul de ierburi comestibile contaminate cu fecale de șerpi, însă cauza exactă nu poate fi confirmată. După ce ouăle s-au dezvoltat în corpul ei, larvele au migrat către creierul său, probabil influențate de medicamentele pe care le lua și care au compromis sistemul imunitar.
Cazul acestei femei subliniază importanța monitorizării continue, deoarece studiile pe șoareci au demonstrat că ouăle viermelui pot supraviețui în corp timp de peste patru ani. De asemenea, evidențiază pericolul persistent al bolilor zootehnice transmise între oameni și animale. Aceste boli zootehnice sunt adesea menționate ca posibili declanșatori de pandemii.
Deși femeia și-a recăpătat în mare parte memoria și depresia a avut o ușoară ameliorare, este esențială continuarea monitorizării sale medicale. Acest caz unic arată potențialul pentru apariția unor astfel de situații în viitor și subliniază nevoia de a înțelege mai bine relația dintre oameni și animale în ceea ce privește transmiterea bolilor., a transmis astăzi news.sky.com
A woman who was experiencing forgetfulness and depression has had an 8cm-long parasitic roundworm removed from her brain.
The 64-year-old English woman, who was living in New South Wales, Australia, was admitted to hospital in January 2021 after three weeks of abdominal pain and diarrhoea, followed by a dry cough and night sweats.
By 2022, her symptoms had evolved to include forgetfulness and depression, prompting medical professionals to refer her to Canberra hospital.
An MRI scan of her brain revealed that a motile helminth – a parasitic roundworm – was living in the right frontal lobe lesion of her brain.
Surgical intervention became the only option, and doctors successfully removed the roundworm, which measured 8cm (80mm) in length and 1mm in diameter.
Identified as a third-stage larva of the Ophidascaris robertsi nematode species, the case is unprecedented in medical history, and has been documented in the journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Typically, this parasitic worm lives in the digestive tracts of carpet pythons indigenous to the Australian state of New South Wales.
Medical professionals suspect the woman inadvertently ingested the worm’s eggs by eating edible grasses that were tainted with snake faeces, however, the actual cause cannot be confirmed.
After the eggs hatched within her body, medics believe the larvae embarked on a journey to her brain. This could have been influenced by the medication she was taking, which compromised her immune system.
“We hypothesised that she inadvertently consumed eggs either directly from the vegetation or indirectly by contamination of her hands or kitchen equipment,” the medics said.
Ordeal began in 2021 – with evolving symptoms
The woman’s ordeal began in January 2021 when she was admitted to a hospital in Canberra.
Despite comprehensive tests, the results of her numerous medical tests remained inconclusive. Eventually, she received a diagnosis of pneumonia originating from an undisclosed source and was prescribed steroids.
Although her condition initially showed signs of improvement, she found herself readmitted to the hospital a few weeks later, plagued by a fever and an unrelenting cough.
Doctors suspected the presence of T-cell driven hypereosinophilic syndrome, a condition that can be life-threatening, characterised by the immune system going into overdrive. To address this, she was administered immunosuppressing medication as part of her treatment.
A CT scan also unveiled multiple troubling findings, including pulmonary opacities, hepatic and splenic lesions.
Three weeks later, her condition worsened, prompting her admission to a tertiary hospital. With persistent fever and cough, her medical team escalated the investigation.
By January 2022, she experienced further changes, including forgetfulness and worsening depression over a three-month period, prompting doctors to examine her brain.
Subsequent scans unveiled a brain lesion, leading to her undergoing surgery in June of the previous year.
‘String-like structure’ discovered in brain
During the surgical procedure, an unusual “string-like structure” was discovered within the lesion, and to doctors’ astonishment, it began to wriggle.
Examination of the worm indicated its affiliation with a family of parasites typically exclusive to snakes. This marked the first documented instance of such a parasite infecting a human.
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Subsequent medical procedures revealed the absence of any additional worms residing within her body.
Half a year after the surgery, while the woman’s forgetfulness and depression had shown signs of improvement, they persisted to some extent.
Medical experts emphasised the significance of ongoing monitoring, as studies on rats have demonstrated that the worm’s eggs can endure within the body for over four years.
But they added that while the species of worm had been known to infect animals’ digestive systems, it had not been discovered in the brain of any species before.
The medics said that while the particular worm in question is exclusive to Australia, there are similar species located in other parts of the world, suggesting the potential for further occurrences in the future.
They also emphasised that the case underscored the persisting danger of zoonotic diseases transmitted between humans and animals.
Zoonotic diseases, which transfer from animals to humans, are frequently mentioned as potential triggers for pandemics.