Kathmandu: In a world first, scientists say an 8cm (3in) worm has been found alive in the brain of an Australian woman.
The “string-like structure” was pulled from the patient’s damaged frontal lobe during surgery in Canberra last year.
The woman, 64, had for months suffered symptoms like stomach pain, a cough and night sweats, which evolved into forgetfulness and depression.
She was admitted to hospital in late January 2021, and a scan later revealed “an atypical lesion within the right frontal lobe of the brain”.
But the cause of her condition was only revealed by Dr Hari Priya Bandi’s knife during a biopsy in June 2022.
The red parasite could have been alive in her brain for up to two months, doctors said.
The woman, who lived near a lake area in south-eastern New South Wales state, is recovering well.
Her case is believed to be the first instance of a larvae invasion and development in the human brain, researchers said in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal which reported the case.
Researchers warn the case highlights the increased danger of diseases and infections being passed from animals to people.
The Ophidascaris robertsi roundworm is common in carpet pythons – non-venomous snakes found across much of Australia.
Scientists say the woman most likely caught the roundworm after collecting a type of native grass, Warrigal greens, beside a lake near where she lived. The area is also inhabited by carpet pythons.
(News Source: BBC)