Thursday, August 9, 2012

Got worms? 
Filarial parasitology has not been given substantial consideration by the science community. Rare in the United States; most of the afflictions are found in developing countries and can cause very painful and incapacitating diseases (WIRM, 2012). 

Did you know the Scripps Research Institute located on the FAU campus in Jupiter has The Worm Institute for Research and Medicine? They target several organisms for study such as the nematode that causes onchocerciasis (river blindness).  

Taken from the WIRM website; “ In addition to O. volvulus, WIRM researchers are targeting a number of other organisms including:

    Brugia malayi, Mansonella streptocerca, and Wuchereria bancrofti - three thread-like worms that infect some 120 million people worldwide. These parasites lodge in lymphatic tissue and cause a disease known as lymphatic filariasis, a debilitating and disfiguring illness that causes elephantiasis, a disease characterized by severe swelling in the genitals and limbs.

    Dracunculis medinensis - a worm spread through unclean water that can grow to be several feet long in the body and causes the painful disease dracunculiasis, or Guinea worm disease.

    Schistosoma mansoni - a worm carried by freshwater snails, which causes the disease schistosomiasis, afflicting some 200 million people worldwide.

    Dirofilaria immitis - a heartworm spread by mosquitoes that infects dogs and is common in the United States” (WIRM, 2012).

To find out more about these diseases or the Worm institute at Scripps; please visit this link. You may also visit our electronic databases to research additional sources related to filarial parasitology.

Here are some related articles found in our electronic resources:
Vale T, Marques D, Roberto de Sousa-Pereira S, Lambertucci J. Schistosoma mansoni Encephalomyelitis. Arch Neurol. 2011;68(9):1200-1201. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2011.198.
Erickson SM, Xi Z, Mayhew GF, Ramirez JL, Aliota MT, et al. (2009) Mosquito Infection Responses to Developing Filarial Worms. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3(10): e529. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000529

Scripps Research Institute (WIRM), 2012.

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