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Archive for the ‘PARASITES’ Category

African parasitic worm found in man’s foot

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

foot xray shows worm inside image www.newcures.info

A parasitic worm that grows up to a metre long has been found in the foot of a Melbourne man who is believed to have been living with it for years.

The worm, which usually burrows into its victims’ intestines and digs through their body to try to exit through a painful blister on their skin, was recently diagnosed in a Sudanese migrant who had been living in Australia for four years.

Dr Jonathan Darby, an infectious diseases physician at St Vincent’s Hospital, said the 38-year-old man sought help for a swollen foot that had been painful for about a year, prompting doctors to wonder if he had stood on something that had become stuck in his foot or had caused an infection.

But to their surprise, an X-ray showed what appeared to be two pieces of curled up “Guinea worm” or Dracunculiasis medinensis in his ankle and foot.

Despite its ability to grow to great lengths, the two pieces of worm were only several centimetres long, probably because it had died and started to degenerate inside the man. It was surgically removed and the man made a full recovery.

The parasite, found in Africa, enters people through drinking water containing water fleas that have ingested Dracunculus larvae. Once swallowed, the larvae burrow into the walls of the intestines where they develop into adult worms that look like spaghetti. The female worms usually then move through tissue in the abdomen and into the legs, feet or toes, where they try to emerge through skin, producing painful blisters or ulcers.

Dr Darby said this usually causes people a burning sensation that makes them put the affected part of their body into water. If the worms meet water, the females discharge their larvae, setting in motion a new life cycle.

“That whole process can take years. It can sit inside the human body alive for years or die, degenerate, and then cause problems in the area like it did for our patient,” he said.

In developing countries, Dr Darby said live worms are usually delicately pulled from people’s exit wounds over days or weeks to ensure they don’t break and cause more harm.

“If you google it, you’ll find some fairly dramatic photos of people getting match sticks and twirling their worm out centimetre per day,” he said.

Dr Darby said the Melbourne man – a Sudanese migrant who had not left Australia since he arrived four years ago – was most likely infected in Africa where the parasite is still found in Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Ghana and Chad despite efforts to eradicate it. While there is no treatment for the disease, people carrying the parasites cannot infect others.

Details of the case were published in the medical journal Pathology to inform doctors about the possibility of it in people with symptoms, particularly migrants.

“Increased refugee and migration movement from endemic as well as recently certified free countries may lead to cases of imported dracunculiasis being reported, and hence clinical vigilance in non-endemic countries remains important,” the doctors wrote.

Henry Sapiecha

Melbourne Uni cancer researchers make a fluke discovery

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

asian liver fluke image www.newcures.info

Dr Neil Young and Professor Robin Gasser, scientists at the University of Melbourne have sequenced the genome of a cancer-causing parasite known as the Asian liver fluke.The tiny parasite found in raw fish is known to cause a number of diseases, including fatal bile duct cancer, by releasing proteins that can alter human tissue. These disease affect millions all around Asia.The study could provide a much-needed insight into how parasite is able to survive and thrive within the harsh conditions within the human bile duct.

Professors Young and Gasser believe that their study could lead to new treatments against parasites and parasite-induced cancers around the world.

[img source] University of Melbourne

Henry Sapiecha

LYME DISEASE FROM TICKS – WHAT IS IT..???

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Lyme Disease, what is it?

Lyme disease is an infection that is transmitted through the bite of a tick infected with a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Ticks typically get the bacterium by biting infected animals, like deer and mice. Most people who get tick bites do not get Lyme disease. Not all ticks are infected, and the risk for contracting the disease increases the longer the tick is attached to the body.

Symptoms: Early Stage

dermnet_rf_photo_of_tick_bite

Within one to four weeks of being bitten by an infected tick, most people will experience some symptoms of Lyme disease. A circular, expanding rash (called erythema migrans) at the site of the bite develops in about 70%-80% of cases. Some people report flu-like symptoms at this stage, including fever, chills, headaches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and muscle aches.

Symptoms: As the Infection Spreads

If the disease is not detected and treated in its early stages, it can extend to more areas of the body, affecting the joints, heart, and nervous system (about one to four months after the initial bite). Additional rashes may occur, and there may be intermittent periods of pain and weakness in the arms or legs. Facial-muscle paralysis (Bell’s palsy), headaches, and poor memory are other symptoms at this stage, along with a rapid heartbeat and some loss of control of facial muscles.

Symptoms: Late-Stage Disease

This is the most serious stage of the disease, when treatment was either not successful or never started (usually occurring many months after the initial bite). Joint inflammation (arthritis), typically in the knees, becomes apparent, and may become chronic. The nervous system can develop abnormal sensation because of disease of peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy), and confusion. Heart problems are less common, but can include inflammation of the heart muscle and an irregular beat.

Do All Ticks Transmit Lyme Disease?

webmd_composite_photo_of_black-legged_deer_ticks

No. In the northeastern and north-central U.S., the black-legged tick (or deer tick) transmits Lyme disease. In the Pacific coastal U.S., the disease is spread by the western black-legged tick. Other major tick species found in the U.S., including the lone star tick and the dog tick, have NOT been shown to transmit the Lyme disease bacterium. But beware: Lyme disease has been reported in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.

How Lyme Disease is NOT Spread

You can’t catch Lyme disease by being around an infected person. And although pets can become infected by a tick, they cannot transmit the disease to humans unless an infected tick falls off the animal and then bites a person. Insects such as mosquitoes, flies, or fleas cannot spread the disease to humans either. Only infected ticks have that honor.

Diagnosing Lyme Disease

Doctors can diagnose the disease through physical findings such as a “bull’s-eye” rash along with a history of symptoms. But not everyone has the rash, and not everyone can recall being bitten. Blood tests (ELISA and Western blot) can be taken three to four weeks after suspected contact. Other tests, such as a spinal tap or skin biopsy, may be used to confirm a diagnosis or rule out other conditions.

Treating Lyme Disease

Most Lyme disease is curable with antibiotics, particularly when the infection is diagnosed and treated early. Doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime are the drugs of choice most of the time for early illness. Later stages might require longer-term, intravenous antibiotics, such as ceftriaxone.

Is There a Lyme Disease Vaccine?

getty_rf_photo_of_man_petting_dog_on_beach

Currently, there is no human vaccine for Lyme disease. The one that did exist — LYMErix — is no longer available. Originally approved by the FDA in 1998 to help prevent the disease, the vaccine was pulled from the market by the manufacturer in 2002 due to poor sales. There was concern that the vaccine could trigger arthritis problems, although the FDA never found evidence that the vaccine was dangerous.

getty_rm_3D_illustration_of_lyme_disease_bacteria

Illustrated here: Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.

Preventing Lyme Disease

Avoid tick bites whenever possible by staying clear of grassy or wooded areas, especially May to July. Cover your body head-to-toe when entering possible tick-infested areas. Apply an insect repellent containing DEET directly to your skin. Insect repellents containing permethrin can be applied to clothes to kill ticks on contact, but never apply to the skin. When coming in from outdoors inspect your body thoroughly for ticks; do the same for pets. Wash your skin and scalp to knock off any ticks that are only loosely attached.

How to Remove a Tick

cdc_illustration_of_tick_removal

If you have a tick, it is important to remove it properly. Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the part of the tick that’s closest to your skin — you want to grab the head, not the belly. Slowly pull the tick straight out, without twisting it. Wash the bite site with soap and warm water. Throw the dead tick into the trash. Do not use a lit match, nail polish, petroleum jelly, or other topical agents in an attempt to remove a tick.

AAA

Henry Sapiecha

rainbow line

 

BEST HOME REMEDIES FOR HEAD & BODY LICE

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Head Lice –

Louse Home Remedies   –

Suggested remedies for Head Lice

Drown the  lice by covering your skin in olive oil for several hours.

Head Lice Remedies

For head lice problems rinse your hair with vinegar. Vinegar  helps in killing all the lice nits in a matter of days.

Coconut oil for massaging hair scalp after helps.

For head lice use Listerine (original flavor): Another remedy for treating head lice is rubbing listerine mouth wash on your head. This will kill all the lice.

Massage your head with mayonnaise and comb it after 2 hours. This will kill all the lice and their eggs. Apply a mixture of lemon and butter on your head, wait for 15 seconds and then rinse your head.

An anti-lice oil can be mixed with coconut (or mustard) oil and 0.2 per cent lindane (BHC) or 0.1 per cent pyrethrum essence. This oil can be rubbed well into the scalp to kill lice. (Ingredients can be purchased from a chemical dealer).

Mix talcum powder with 0.2 per cent prethrum dust in it (or add 10 per cent DDT). Sprinkle this powder on the hair before going to bed and rub it vigorously so that it reaches the roots. Cover your mouth, nose and eyes to protect them from the powder.

Anti-louse lotion, either gammabenzene hexachloride lotion or cream (Lorexane, Gammaexane) or Malathion (Prioderma) will kill the eggs which can be removed by a comb with very fine teeth. One treatment is enough but all the family who are infested should be treated and the hair examined regularly for a while. You may consult a doctor for the treatment.

To remove head lice and their nits. put any common lotion on your  skin generously and then comb your hair out with a regular comb to get any knots out then comb out with a fine tooth comb.

Some people swear by using a common cheap hair gel put on generously & left on under a shower cap for several hours or overnight to smother the bugs etc

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

CHAGAS THE KILLER TROPICAL DISEASE HAS BEEN CHALLENGED BY NEW COMPOUND

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

New Compound May Be Effective

Against Chagas’ Disease

Science (Aug. 22, 2010) — A new compound may offer an effective drug candidate against the deadly tropical infection, Chagas’ disease say researchers from Brazil. They report their findings in the August 2010 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.


Chagas’ disease is an infection caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and it affects approximately 18 million people and causes up to 50,000 deaths per year in tropical regions of the world. Human infection occurs through contact with contaminated feces or urine from infected insects, blood transfusions, contaminated food, and birth canal transmission. In areas where the disease is endemic, such as Mexico and Argentina, up to 30% of infected patients may develop cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems.

The current drug used to treat Chagas’ disease, benznidazole, is effective when treating acutely infected patients, however, it is less so when dealing with chronic infections and poses severe side effects in elderly patients.

In this study researchers identified a compound against T. cruzi and found it not only inhibited cell division, but it was also a very effective against T. cruzi even at very low doses. Additionally, it was 340 times more toxic to parasites than mammalian cells as well as more effective than benznidazole in all experiments.

“This compound was demonstrated to have a fast antiparasite effect, decreasing its viability and invasion capacity and leading to an apoptosis-like death,” say the researchers.

First Case Of Insect Transmission Of Chagas Parasite In Louisiana (Jan. 18, 2007) — Loyola biology professor Patricia Dorn, Ph.D., in collaboration with Dawn Wesson, Ph.D., of Tulane University Health Sciences Center and Loyola undergraduate student Leon Perniciaro discovered the …  > read more


Genetically Distinct Carriers Of Chagas Disease-Causing Parasite Live Together (Mar. 18, 2009) — Researchers have found living together the known carrier species for the Chagas disease-causing parasite Triatoma dimidiata (also known as “kissing bugs”) and a cryptic species that looks the same — …  > read more

Human Movement May Have Brought Chagas Disease to Urban Peru (Dec. 17, 2009) — New research shows how the migration and settlement patterns associated with the rapid urbanization of Peru may link to Chagas disease transmission. The study, suggests that the practice of …  > read more

Dogs May Help Collar Chagas Disease: Researchers Propose New Ways to Combat Prevalent Public Health Challenge (July 12, 2010) — Chagas disease affects 10 to 12 million people in Latin America, killing more than 15,000 a year. It is caused by a parasite that roams with only limited control among the rural poor in Latin …  > read more

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

MAN EATEN ALIVE WHILE SLEEPING

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Disabled man eaten to death

by maggots

  • July 28, 2010 11:19PM

A DISABLED Austrian man was eaten to death by maggots in his bed while his partner slept beside him.


The 61-year-old retiree died in an ambulance on his way to hospital in Vienna on Tuesday with the maggots having partly devoured his back.

Paramedics notified police after discovering the shocking state of hygiene in the man’s home, and his 34-year-old partner was questioned over his condition.

“The man had not wanted to be washed for a long time,” a police spokesman said.

According to police, the couple had been together for around a decade, and the victim’s partner had slept in the same bed right up until his death.

The dead man had been paralysed for several years following a stroke.

Some types of maggots found on corpses can be of great use to forensic scientists. By their stage of development, these maggots can be used to give an indication of the time elapsed since death, as well as the place the organism died. Some maggots are leaf miners. Maggots are bred commercially, as a popular bait in angling, and a food for carnivourous pets such as reptiles or birds. Some maggots which eat dead, but not living, flesh have been used medically, being introduced into wounds to clean them. Other maggots, such as the screwworm, eat live flesh. In the early days of medicine, maggot infestations of wounds (myiasis) were inevitable. The wounds that were infested tended to be less life-threatening than wounds without the infestation, so until the development of antibiotics it was common practice to leave the maggots. After antibiotics, the presence of maggots became viewed as unhygienic
Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

GUT MICROBES CAN ENHANCE HEALTH

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Manipulating Microbes in the Gut May

Remedy Disease and Enhance Health

Science (June 28, 2010) — We are what we eat, but who are “we”? New, high-powered genomic analytical techniques have established that as many as 1,000 different single-celled species coexist in relative harmony in every healthy human gut.


“For each human cell in your body there are 10 microbial cells, most of them living in the gut and helping us digest things we can’t digest on our own,” said Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “In turn, what you eat is proving to be one of the major determinants of the components of your ‘inner self’ — that community of bacteria living in your intestine.”

Each individual’s microbial ecosystem is different in its relative composition, with potential implications for our health. Disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and even obesity have been linked to skewed intestinal microbe distributions.

Scientists hope that someday they will be able to manipulate microbial populations in the gut as a way of remedying disease and enhancing health. One step toward this goal would be taking “genomic censuses” to categorize and count the interacting components of each individual’s bacterial community and characterize how they respond to interventions, such as changes in diet. That’s no small task, because the aggregate gene count of the micro-organisms dwelling in a typical human gut outnumbers our own by a hundredfold — millions of them, versus the 20,000 human genes that have been identified.

In an animal study to be published June 25 in Cell, Sonnenburg and his colleagues showed that zeroing in on just a small set of bacterial genes, while ignoring the vast majority, allowed them to predict how bugs would respond to a diet change. The results highlight the potential of the burgeoning new field of prebiotics, which (in contrast to probiotics — the seeding of food with healthful bacterial organisms) involves adding substances to the diet in an effort to shift the mix of bugs in our gut in a healthy direction.

In conducting the study, the researchers used a vastly simplified model of the internal mammalian microbial ecosystem to prove that they could predict, by looking at a mere handful of microbial genes, how a shift in diet can alter the microbial composition of the gut. Sonnenburg’s team introduced two distinct species of bacteria, both known to abound in the human digestive tract, into mice that had been raised in a sterile environment and so lack the normally resident microbes — also known as “germ-free” mice. Then they fed the mice a diet rich in a particular complex carbohydrate that one bacterial species seemed genetically better equipped to digest, based on the presence of a small set of genes in its genome. As predicted, that bacterial species became predominant in the mice’s intestines.

These results set the stage for scaling up germ-free mice into living laboratories into which scientists can introduce, one by one, steadily increasing numbers of bacteria found in the human intestine, eventually enabling a sophisticated understanding of the astonishingly complex microbial superorganism that dwells inside each of us.

The complex carbohydrate the Stanford researchers added to the mice’s diet was inulin, which is found in certain bulbous plants — onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes — and has gained wide use as a prebiotic supplement (for instance, in yogurt or in powdered form) by people who believe it encourages the proliferation of healthful “good” bacteria. We humans can’t digest inulin on our own, but some bacteria are equipped with genes that encode enzymes capable of sawing through the chemical links joining this substance’s constituent sugar molecules.

“Think of these enzymes as a unique set of utensils that allow them to eat this food we can’t cut,” said Sonnenburg. The byproducts of bacterial metabolism are often valuable nutrients for humans — a win-win situation.

Previous genomic analyses had determined that only one of the two bacterial species the investigators introduced to the germ-free mice featured, among its 5,000 or so genes, a roughly 10-gene assemblage that permits the breakdown of inulin.

The researchers used a standard laboratory technique to precisely assess changes in each of the two species’ relative abundance before and after dietary inulin supplementation. “Within one or two weeks, there was a significant change in the composition of the mice’s gut communities,” said Erica Sonnenburg, PhD, senior research scientist in Justin Sonnenburg’s lab and first author of the study. As predicted, the ratio of inulin-digesting to non-digesting species shifted in favor of the former in the inulin-fed mice.

Both Erica and Justin Sonnenburg (they’re married) warned that it will be a while before the results in this simple experimental system — two competing bacterial species — can be extrapolated to the nearly-1,000-species jungle that is the real, human gut-dwelling microbial community. But the Sonnenburg lab has already embarked on increasing the complexity of their experimental system by increasing the number of human-associated bacteria into germ-free mice that have been “humanized” so that their intestines contain a microbial community similar to that of the human gut.

“We’ve now got germ-free mice to which we’ve introduced batches of bacteria representative of an entire human gut community in all its complexity,” said Erica Sonnenburg. “We’re looking to see if the bugs that we think should do better actually do better in this more competitive environment.”

The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. Other Stanford co-authors were Steven Higginbottom and Payal Joglekar of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

CLEAN OUT YOUR ARTERIES WITH EASE

Thursday, June 25th, 2009