There are certain types of worms which can enter your body, either by consuming certain food, most commonly pork, by having a direct contact with infected human or animal, or by drinking contaminated water.
When these worms are ingested, they can easily move throughout your entire body. They can move in your eyes, in your tissues, and even in your brain.
If these worms invade your brain, you are exposed to the risk of many severe infections which are very difficult to treat.
Pork Tapeworm – Taenia Solium
The pork tapeworm is one of the most dangerous worms that can easily infect your brain, which can lead to a number of neurological conditions. The most common of the pork species is Taenia Solium.
According to Dr. Helena Helmby, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, this tapeworm can invade your brain in two major ways.
The first way is by eating pork from infected pigs, especially under cooked pork, which can result in a parasitic infection, called taeniasis.
The second way is to get it in a larval form, through a direct contact with infected human or pig. If a larval worm enters your brain, you are exposed to the risk of neurocysticercosis, an infectious condition which is the major cause of acquired epilepsy.
The Spirometra erinaceieuropaei is much rarer and less treatable worm than the pork tapeworm, most commonly found in China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
This tapeworm can be responsible for causing sparganosis, a dangerous infection which requires surgical removal of the worm. The adult forms of the Spirometra tapeworm are found only in the intestines of cats and dogs.
However, the worm’s eggs excrete through the facesof the animals, and they can enter the water. The larvae can either stay in the water or, they can end up in frogs and snakes.
These larvae can invade humans either by having direct contact with an infected animal or by drinking contaminated water.
According to a geneticist from the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, Dr. Hayley Bennett, these worms can be responsible for causing tissue damage, paralysis, blindness, and even death.
While the infections caused by the pork tapeworm are mainly treatable, the Spirometra tapeworm until now needed to be removed with surgery. Dr. Bennett’s team has succeeded in finding drugs that may be effective in treating the infections caused by this worm.
These drugs include praziquantel, used against schistosomiasis, or snail fever, as well as drugs used against cancer.
In order to prevent getting infected by these tapeworms, you should pay attention to the food you consume, to your personal hygiene, and to the regions you visit.
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