Sunday, June 16, 2019

Answer to Case 549

Answer to Parasite Case of the Week 549: "Gordian" or "horsehair" worms, belonging to the group Nematomorpha. I had asked what its significance is for human health; this was a trick question, since gordian worms have no direct clinical significance, other than scaring people when they are found in toilet water! When submitted to the clinical parasitology laboratory, they can easily be differentiated from other large worms such as Ascaris lumbricoides by their long slender bodies:
I have to admit that I was amazed by how many worms emerged from the poor cricket in this fascinating video donated by Matt and Christina. The good news is that the cricket survived the ordeal and went on to chirp another day!

There is an excellent description of this group of worms on the University of Kentucky entomology website.

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