TWiP 106: Trematode stormtroopers in snail wars

March 26, 2016

Biomphalaria glabrataHosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson Despommier, and Daniel Griffin

The TWiP triumvirate solves the case of the Missionary in Kenya, and review the finding of a soldier caste in flatworms that parasitize snails.

Download TWiP #106 (87 MB .mp3, 121 minutes)

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This episode is sponsored by ASM Agar Art Contest

 Case study for TWiP 106

This week’s case comes from an ophthalmologist colleague Florian in Switzerland. Swiss female, early 20s, returns after surfing vacation in northern Africa. Accommodations were rustic, lots of animal and insect exposure, right on the beach. No screens. Had loose stools there, now left eye is bothering her, eyelid swollen, eye red. This happened after return. Thinks she has seen things moving around in her eye. Opthalmologist gave eyedrops, now looking for second opinion. Healthy, no med/surg/allergies, no meds, student lives alone, occasional alcohol. No AIDS. Surfing in Morocco. Lots of insect bites. Little tiny things moving around in eye, on surface when she looks in mirror. All blood work was negative. Florian inspects her eye, surprised to see several tiny mobile objects, headed towards lacrymal ducts. Is able to grab one, about 1 mm long, plucks three off.

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One comment on “TWiP 106: Trematode stormtroopers in snail wars

  1. Tom Sethre Apr 8, 2016

    Greetings TWIPsters.

    In case you missed it, XKCD recently addressed the concept of microbes controlling our behavior. Here’s the link if you want to use it for a Listener Pick:

    In a similar vein …

    About a year ago I spent a week on a farm with lots of cats that were fed indoors but spent most of each day, and all of each night, outdoors.

    Toward the end of the visit I had what felt like a viremia of some sort. When I got back to Austin, I thought my son had switched out the our usual unscented cat litter for scented, but the box said it was unscented. The old sour catbox urine smell was swapped out with something that smelled spicy-sweet,

    I am convinced (with N of one) that I had acquired toxoplasmosis.

    Austin is partly cloudy, 76F/26C on this Friday afternoon.

    – Tom in Austin