Friday, May 30, 2014

Game #3 - Name that Parasite

Isn't nature grand?  Use the photos and descriptions to identify each parasite, while you marvel at the diversity of life.

A. dysentery:
    can be caused by protozoan parasites, which are usually single-celled and live in moist
    environments; cause intestinal inflammation and severe diarrhea

B. bedbugs:
    only millimeters in size, they prefer to feed on human blood as we sleep leaving multiple
    red bite marks on the skin

C. giardia:
     contain 2 nuclei and 4 flagella…although they may be cute, they cause severe diarrhea…
     don’t let the smile fool you ;o] generally spread via poor hygienic practices and human-to-
     human contact

D. plasmodium:
     spread into human blood by way of the mosquito as a vector, causing malaria

E. roundworm:
    the largest, most common parasitic worm in humans with 1/6 of the human population estimated to be
    infected by Ascaris lumbricoides or another roundworm.  It is prevalent worldwide, but more
    so in tropical and subtropical countries

F. flatworm:
    flattened oval or worm-like animals, usually no more than a few centimeters in length

G. tapeworm:
     transmitted by ingesting underprepared meat such as pork, beef, and fish, prepared in less than hygienic
     conditions; once ingested, they live in the intestines, sometimes for many years, and can grow as long as    55 feet!

H. hookworm:
     affects approx 576 million people globally; usually lives in the small intestines; larval invasion of the skin might give rise to intense, local itching, usually on the foot or lower leg, which can be followed by lesions that look like insect bites and can blister

I. botfly:
    also known as warble flies, heel flies, gadflies; “bot” meaning “maggot”; a large, densely
    haired fly that looks like a bumblebee; will infest the skin of humans and live out the larval stage in the
    subcutaneous layer, causing painful pustules that secrete fluids…yummy

J. whipworm:
    infects the large intestine; its common name refers to the shape of the worm - it looks like a
    whip with wider "handles" at the posterior end

Bonus - just in time for this posting, a story on NPR about a parasitic worm called schistosomiasis which occurs in Lake Malawi!

1-C          6-F
2-G          7-A
3-D          8-B
4-J           9-I
5-E          10-H


  1. Oh Geez! this sounds like fun! Just keep your mouth closed all the time and you should be fine...oops...I guess you do have to eat now and then and maybe drink. Maybe just drink beer.

  2. Funny you should say that... I got my bath water in my mouth last week, and then got all panicked. There was definitely some rinsing with boiled/filtered water afterwards. Luckily it is the dry season now, when water-borne illness is less prevalent.