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A live nematode was pulled from the brain of a woman at a Canberra hospital
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A live nematode was pulled from the brain of a woman at a Canberra hospital

For the first time in the world, such nematodes were found, which are still alive in the human brain, and which usually parasitize the carpet snake. The worm was 8 cm long.

The worm was removed from the frontal lobe of an Australian woman at Canberra Hospital last year. According to doctors, the parasite can be in its head for at least two months.


The 64-year-old English woman went to hospital in January 2021, complaining of stomach pain, coughing, night sweats, diarrhoea, worsening forgetfulness and depression. Because of the unusual set of symptoms, he was sent for an MRI scan, where the threadworms became visible. He underwent surgery in June 2022.

According to those in the operating room, they were shocked to see the bright red 8-centimetre worm removed from the woman’s brain.

Doctors fear that the worm larvae could be found in the woman’s lungs and liver, so she is still under observation in hospital, but she is recovering well.

According to the researchers, the larva of Ophidascaris robertsi could have entered the woman’s body by eating New Zealand spinach contaminated with snake feces, and the parasite’s eggs were found in the snake’s feces.

Ophidascaris robertsi usually parasitizes the esophagus and stomach of carpet snakes.

According to the researchers, it is a matter of concern that the parasite commonly found in refrigerators could enter and live in the human body. The Australian National University research team recorded 30 new infections over the past 30 years, a third of which were transmitted from animals to humans.

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