Monday, November 18, 2019

Case of the Week 569

This week's case was captured by my awesome Parasitology Education Specialist, Felicity Norrie, MLS(ASCP). The following were identified from skin scrapings from a resident of a skilled nursing facility. Identification?

Monday, November 11, 2019

Case of the Week 568

This week's case is from Old One - illustrated by him and animated by his son. It features an arthropod that measures a few millimeters in length.
See it in action HERE!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Answer to Case 568

Answer to Parasite Case of the Week 568: Pseudoscorpion or false scorporion, not a human parasite.

This fun little arthropod is occasionally submitted to the clinical laboratory for identification, and may be mistaken as a true scorpion. While both scorpions and pseudoscorpions are arachnids, pseudoscorpions are very small (1 cm or less in length) and lack a tail with a stinger. As sylvie g and Santiago note, pseudoscorpions can occasionally be found in the house, but they don't bite or sting humans, and instead feed on other small arthropods such as booklice.

Thanks again to Old One and his son for the donation of the cool animated illustration.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Case of the Week 567

This week's case is from Idzi Potters and the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp. The following object was seen in a concentrated stool specimen from a 3-year-old toddler with diarrhea (40x objective). It measures 45 micrometers in greatest dimension. Identification?

Monday, November 4, 2019

Answer to Case 567

Answer: Hymenolepis nana egg.
As many of you pointed out, this eggs beautifully demonstrates the filaments arising from the 2 poles of the inner membrane (arrow heads, below image). You can't make it out here, but there are 4-8 of these filaments arising from each pole. You can also nicely see the hooks of the 6-hooked oncosphere:
Some of you may know that humans become infected with this parasite when they ingest infected arthropods. As Sam mentioned, children are a common host - likely due to their tendency to put things in their mouth. Adults can also become infected as Blaine reminds us in his poem:
There once was a chap from Indiana
who with his cereal enjoyed a banana
but with the cereal he did eat
he received an unexpected treat
The cestode known as Hymenolepis nana!

If you do an internet search for "oatmeal" and "bugs," you will find multiple consumer complaints (and some nice YouTube videos) to explain the cereal reference.

Importantly, infection via ingestion of eggs shed in stool (autoinfection or from another person) is also possible, making this a common intestinal cestode infection worldwide.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Case of the Week 566

Happy Halloween everyone! In honor of this week, I have photos from my annual Halloween party, and a special 'unknown' from Old One. Feel free to guess what my guests' costumes were:

Me and Felicity with (unplanned) matching costumes. Any ideas what we were?
Me and Old One (so great to meet him in person!)
Heather and her 'life cycle' family
Natalia, Zerelda and Pooja representing the exposure and treatment course for this common parasite:
Another take on this fun parasite by Emily and Nick:
Rebecca, Aimee and Emily demonstrating the woes of being a Clinical Microbiology fellow:
Casey and his wife as another classic parasite:
Kyle and his tapeworm family:
There were many more wonderful costumes that I didn't get pictures of (and many that weren't parasite-related that I will post separately on Facebook). 
And last but not least, HERE is Old One's contribution of a hand-drawn case, animated by his son.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Answer to Case 566

Answer: lots of fun parasite Halloween costumes; here are the 'answers'

Monday, October 21, 2019

Case of the Week 565

This week's case was generously donated by Professor Agnes Kurniawan from the University of Indonesia. The following motile structure was reported to emerge from the anus of a man from rural Indonesia. He had no other gastrointestinal symptoms.
You can see its subtle movement here:

This structure was expressed from the submitted object:

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Answer to Case 565

Answer to Parasite Case of the Week 565: Bertiella species

This case nicely demonstrates a short chain of proglottids and egg (expressed from the proglottids) of Bertiella - a tapeworm of non-human primates that only rarely infects humans. You can read more about this fascinating parasite at the CDC DPDx website.

The proglottids are very short and wide, thus giving this small segment of proglottids the appearance of 'bow tie' pasta as several of my readers pointed out! (arrows point to some of the individual proglottids)
Bertiella eggs have an internal pyriform apparatus which is difficult to make out in this case. It is better seen in my previous case from 2012: Case of the Week 193.
Thanks again to Professor Agnes Kurniawan from the University of Indonesia who donated this case.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Case of the Week 564

This week's case was donated by Blaine Mathison and Marc Couturier. The following forms were seen on peripheral blood smears. No travel history is available at this time. How would you recommend reporting out this case? Are there any additional studies you would recommend?