Doctor, There’s a Snake in My Poop

Here is a nice review of Ascaris, the most common Helminth affecting humans. It is most common in tropical and subtropical areas, but I have encountered this guy in the midwest.

Lablogatory

Case history:
A mother brought her 5 year old son into his pediatrician with a “snake” that she found in his stool. Otherwise, the patient was completely asymptomatic.

Specimen sent for ID:

ascaris1

ascaris2

Ascaris is the most common Helminth affecting humans. It is also the largest of the roundworms (nematodes), growing up to 35 cm in length. There are several species of Ascaris however only A. lumbricoides affects humans.

Epidemiology
Ascaris occurs in areas with poor sanitation, hygiene and solid waste practices. Worldwide it is most common in tropical and subtropical areas.

Transmission & Life Cycle
Ascaris is transmitted through the fecal-oral route, and is therefore most prevalent in areas with poor sanitation and waste practices. Transmission occurs when an uninfected person swallows a fertilized egg which was originally passed through the stool of an infected person.

The adult male and female forms live in the small intestine. The female passes…

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