Monday, March 9, 2009

Answer to Case 60

Congratulations to Heather and Anonymous for getting the correct answer to this case! This is, indeed, Diphyllobothrium latum, the broad fish tape worm. It get's its nickname based on the fact that its proglottids are broader than they are long. Note the presence of the classic "rosette-shaped" uterus. Anonymous is also correct in that it's the longest tapeworm found in humans. Adults can reach up to 10 m (>30 ft) in length, with more than 3,000 proglottids!

As Heather mentioned, "The eggs are kinda shrunken/dehydrated-looking". This isn't uncommon when viewing the eggs inside the uterus, since they are immature. The staining and fixation procedure also likely affected the morphology. However, you can still make out the operculum in some of the photographs (marked by arrows), and the size is consistent with this organism.

No comments: