First case in the world, 8 cm long living worm came out of woman’s brain

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
2 Min Read
The Ophidascaris robertsi larvae specimen that was extracted alive from the woman’s brain by surgeons at Canberra hospital. Composite: Canberra Health

8 cm long living worm came out of woman’s brain :

Canberra: A remarkable and unprecedented case has come to light in Australia involving a woman suffering from memory loss and depression. Doctors successfully removed an 8 cm long living worm from her brain. This incident marks the first recorded instance of such an infection in humans globally.

World-First Discovery

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The startling discovery was made by medical experts and researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and Canberra Hospital. The worm identified as Ophidascaris robertsii is usually found in pythons. This 64-year-old Australian woman’s case is the first of its kind in the world, and it sheds light on an unusual infection.

Origin and Infection

Ophidascaris robertsii larvae, commonly found in pythons, had infested various parts of the woman’s body, including her lungs and liver. The worms usually infect small mammals and marsupials, which are part of the python’s diet. The eggs of these worms are dispersed by pythons through their feces in grassy environments.

Symptoms and Progression

The woman’s symptoms initially surfaced in January 2021. Over three weeks, her condition worsened, prompting her admission to the hospital. Her symptoms included stomach pain, diarrhea, fever, cough, and breathing difficulties.

Probable Cause

Medical professionals suspect that the woman might have encountered the same grassy environment where pythons dwell. The infection likely occurred through contact with this grass, possibly when she used it for preparing greens.

This unique and extraordinary case highlights the intriguing intersection of humans, animals, and environmental factors that can lead to unexpected health challenges.

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