Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Woman’s Selfies Capture Parasite Moving Under Her Skin

Woman’s Selfies Capture Parasite Moving Under Her Skin Woman’s Selfies Capture Parasite Moving Under Her Skin
Melissa Porter | 23 June, 2018, 19:25

When doctors opened up her face, they found a Dirofilaria repens.

Apart from occasional itching and burning the worm caused no other symptoms.

The woman first noticed the lump under her left eye.

It traveled underneath her skin.

A thirty-two years old Russian woman who experienced characteristically moving and itchy lumps on the face was diagnosed with a shocking condition.

But after five days, that had disappeared and a disturbing group of bubble-looking lumps appeared above her eyelid, which stayed there for ten days. This patient made a full recovery once the worm was removed surgically.

The case - and shocking images - were published Thursday in a report titled "Migrating Dirofilaria repens" in the New England Journal of Medicine, detailing a case in which a woman from Russian Federation contracted a parasite through a mosquito bite.

A physical examination showed a superficial moving along the lump.

On subsequent DNA testing of the removed parasite, it was clear that the worm was a nematode parasite typically called Dirofilaria repens.

A 32-year-old woman in Russian Federation noticed a small lump beneath her left eye, and she took a selfie to document the mysterious bulge, according to the report on The New England Journal of Medicine.

The worms can grow from between five and 17cm long, and live inside the subcutaneous connective tissues of their hosts, according to the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists. This organism usually finds it hard for breeding when human beings become the host through mosquito bites.

It's relatively harmless for humans.

. The worm can move around to various parts of the body including the eyes, lips, knees, and groin.

Doctors determined that the wandering wart was actually a marauding parasite, likely transmitted by a mosquito bite on her trip. As the parasite can not lay eggs inside a human host, once the organism is removed, the patient is well enough to go home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that D. repens are not found in the USA, but the country does harbor relatives D. immitis, which cause heartworm disease in dogs, and D. tenuis, which affect raccoons. Cases have been reported around the globe, particularly in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.

But according to the report in Parasites & Vectors, if D. repens continues to spread, it's possible that it could be introduced in the United States by infected dogs who come into the country.