Scientists study rare tapeworm living in man's brain

Scientists study rare tapeworm living in man's brain

LONDON - Scientists in Britain are studying a rare tapeworm that lived in a man's brain for four years, researchers said on Friday.

It was the first time the tapeworm, Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, was reported in Britain. Only 300 cases have been reported since 1953

The parasite travelled five centimetres (two inches) from the right side of the brain to the left.

The tapeworm causes sparganosis, an inflammation of body tissues that can cause seizures, memory loss and headaches when it occurs in the brain.

Surgeons removed it and the patient is now "systemically well", the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said.

It was the first time the tapeworm, Spirometra erinaceieuropaei, was reported in Britain. Only 300 cases have been reported since 1953.

The tapeworm is thought to be caught by accidentally eating small infected crustaceans from lakes, eating raw amphibian or reptile meat, or by using a raw frog poultice which is a Chinese remedy for sore eyes.

"We did not expect to see an infection of this kind in the UK, but global travel means that unfamiliar parasites do sometimes appear," said Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas of the department of Infectious Disease at Addenbrooke's NHS Trust.

The team managed to sequence the rare parasite's genome for the first time, allowing them to examine potential treatments.

"Our work shows that, even with only tiny amounts of DNA from clinical samples, we can find out all we need to identify and characterise the parasite," Gkrania-Klotsas added.

The doctor said the DNA study underlined the importance of a global database of worm genomes, to help identify and treat parasites.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Tough security for Indian Kashmir's first vote since autonomy cancelled

SRINAGAR: Thousands of troops guarded polling stations as Indian Kashmir on Saturday held its first direct elections since the government stripped its semi-autonomy last year.

09:25

Four Narathiwat districts hit by flooding

NARATHIWAT: A total of 41 villages in four districts of this southern province have been hit by flooding, affecting 3,621 households, the provincial flood monitoring centre reported on Sunday.

09:25

Liverpool left frustrated as Man City click into gear

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp again fumed at a "dangerous" schedule as Liverpool had two goals disallowed and conceded two penalties in a 1-1 draw at Brighton, while Man City clicked back into gear with a 5-0 thrashing of Burnley.

08:45