Tag parasitology

Ascariasis (Minyoo)

Ascariasis is a type of roundworm infection. These worms are parasites that use your body as a host to mature from larvae or eggs to adult worms. Adult worms, which reproduce, can be more than a foot (30 centimeters) long.

One of the most common worm infections in people worldwide, Most infected people have mild cases with no symptoms. But heavy infestation can lead to serious symptoms and complications.

Ascariasis occurs most often in children in tropical and subtropical regions of the world — especially in areas with poor sanitation and hygiene.

Symptoms of Round worm infection

Most people infected with ascariasis have no symptoms. Moderate to heavy infestations cause various symptoms, depending on which part of your body is affected.

In the lungs
After you ingest the microscopic ascariasis eggs, they hatch in your small intestine and the larvae migrate through your bloodstream or lymphatic system into your lungs. At this stage, you may experience signs and symptoms similar to asthma or pneumonia, including:

Persistent cough
Shortness of breath
After spending six to 10 days in the lungs, the larvae travel to your throat, where you cough them up and then swallow them.

In the intestines
The larvae mature into adult worms in your small intestine, and the adult worms typically live in the intestines until they die. In mild or moderate ascariasis, the intestinal infestation can cause:

Vague abdominal pain
Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea or bloody stools
If you have a large number of worms in your intestine, you might have:

Severe abdominal pain
Weight loss or malnutrition
A worm in your vomit or stool
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor if you have persistent abdominal pain, diarrhea or nausea.


Ascariasis isn’t spread directly from person to person. Instead, a person has to come into contact with soil mixed with human feces that contain ascariasis eggs or infected water. In many developing countries, human feces are used for fertilizer, or poor sanitary facilities allow human waste to mix with soil in yards, ditches and fields.

Small children often play in dirt, and infection can occur if they put their dirty fingers in their mouths. Unwashed fruits or vegetables grown in contaminated soil also can transmit the ascariasis eggs.

Life cycle of a worm
Ingestion. The microscopic ascariasis eggs can’t become infective without coming into contact with soil. People can accidentally ingest contaminated soil through hand-to-mouth contact or by eating uncooked fruits or vegetables that have been grown in contaminated soil.
Migration. Larvae hatch from the eggs in your small intestine and then penetrate the intestinal wall to travel to your lungs via your bloodstream or lymphatic system. After maturing for about a week in your lungs, the larvae break into your airway and travel up your throat, where they’re coughed up and swallowed.
Maturation. Once back in the intestines, the parasites grow into male or female worms. Female worms can be more than 15 inches (40 centimeters) long and a little less than a quarter inch (6 millimeters) in diameter. Male worms are generally smaller.
Reproduction. Male and female worms mate in the small intestine. Female worms can produce 200,000 eggs a day, which leave your body in your feces. The fertilized eggs must be in soil for at least 18 days before they become infective.
The whole process — from egg ingestion to egg deposits — takes about two or three months. Ascariasis worms can live inside you for a year or two.

Risk Factors

Age. Most people who have ascariasis are 10 years old or younger. Children in this age group may be at higher risk because they’re more likely to play in dirt.
Warm climate. In the United States, ascariasis is more common in the Southeast, but it’s more prevalent in developing countries with warm temperatures year-round.
Poor sanitation. Ascariasis is widespread in developing countries where human feces are allowed to mix with local soil.

Complications of Round worm infection

Mild cases of ascariasis usually don’t cause complications. If you have a heavy infestation, potentially dangerous complications may include:

Slowed growth. Loss of appetite and poor absorption of digested foods put children with ascariasis at risk of not getting enough nutrition, which can slow growth.
Intestinal blockage and perforation. In heavy ascariasis infestation, a mass of worms can block a portion of your intestine, causing severe abdominal cramping and vomiting. The blockage can even perforate the intestinal wall or appendix, causing internal bleeding (hemorrhage) or appendicitis.
Duct blockages. In some cases, worms may block the narrow ducts of your liver or pancreas, causing severe pain.

Tests and Diagnosis

In heavy infestations, it’s possible to find worms after you cough or vomit, and the worms can come out of other body openings, such as your mouth or nostrils. If this happens to you, take the worm to your doctor to identify it and prescribe the proper treatment.

Stool tests
Mature female ascariasis worms in your intestine begin laying eggs. These eggs travel through your digestive system and eventually can be found in your stool.

To diagnose ascariasis, your doctor will examine your stool for the microscopic eggs and larvae. But eggs won’t appear in stool until at least 40 days after you’re infected. And if you’re infected with only male worms, you won’t have eggs.

Blood tests
Your blood can be tested for the presence of an increased number of a certain type of white blood cell, called eosinophils. Ascariasis can elevate your eosinophils, but so can other types of health problems.

Imaging tests
X-rays. If you’re infested with worms, the mass of worms may be visible in an X-ray of your abdomen. In some cases, a chest X-ray can reveal the larvae in your lungs.
Ultrasound. An ultrasound may show worms in your pancreas or liver. This technology uses sound waves to create images of internal organs.
CT scans or MRIs. Both types of tests create detailed images of your internal structures, which can help your doctor detect worms that are blocking ducts in your liver or pancreas. CT scans combine X-ray images taken from many angles; MRI uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field.

Treatment and Drugs

Typically, only infections that cause symptoms need to be treated. In some cases, ascariasis will resolve on its own.

Anti-parasite medications are the first line of treatment against ascariasis. The most common are:

Albendazole (Albenza)
Ivermectin (Stromectol)
These medications, taken for one to three days, kill the adult worms. Side effects include mild abdominal pain or diarrhea.


Malaria is a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite. The parasite is spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes. People who have malaria usually feel very sick with a high fever and shaking chills.

While the disease is uncommon in temperate climates, malaria is still common in tropical and subtropical countries. Each year nearly 290 million people are infected with malaria, and more than 400,000 people die of the disease.

Symptoms of Malaria

Signs and symptoms of malaria may include:

Fever and Chills


General feeling of discomfort


Nausea and vomiting


Abdominal pain

Muscle or joint pain


Rapid breathing

Rapid heart rate


Some people who have malaria experience cycles of malaria “attacks.” An attack usually starts with shivering and chills, followed by a high fever, followed by sweating and a return to normal temperature.

Malaria signs and symptoms typically begin within a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. However, some types of malaria parasites can lie dormant in your body for up to a year.

When to see a doctor

Talk to your doctor if you experience a fever while living in or after traveling to a high-risk malaria region. If you have severe symptoms, seek emergency medical attention.

Causes Of Malaria

Malaria is caused by a single-celled parasite of the genus plasmodium. The parasite is transmitted to humans most commonly through mosquito bites.

Mosquito transmission cycle

Uninfected mosquito. A mosquito becomes infected by feeding on a person who has malaria.

Transmission of parasite. If this mosquito bites you in the future, it can transmit malaria parasites to you.

In the liver. Once the parasites enter your body, they travel to your liver — where some types can lie dormant for as long as a year.

Into the bloodstream. When the parasites mature, they leave the liver and infect your red blood cells. This is when people typically develop malaria symptoms.

On to the next person. If an uninfected mosquito bites you at this point in the cycle, it will become infected with your malaria parasites and can spread them to the other people it bites.

Other modes of transmission

Because the parasites that cause malaria affect red blood cells, people can also catch malaria from exposure to infected blood, including:

From mother to unborn child

Through blood transfusions

By sharing needles used to inject drugs

Risk factors of Malaria

The greatest risk factor for developing malaria is to live in or to visit areas where the disease is common. These include the tropical and subtropical regions of:

Sub-Saharan Africa

South and Southeast Asia

Pacific Islands

Central America and northern South America

The degree of risk depends on local malaria control, seasonal changes in malaria rates and the precautions you take to prevent mosquito bites.

Risks of more-severe disease

People at increased risk of serious disease include:

Young children and infants

Older adults

Travelers coming from areas with no malaria

Pregnant women and their unborn children

In many countries with high malaria rates, the problem is worsened by lack of access to preventive measures, medical care and information.

Immunity can wane

Residents of a malaria region may be exposed to the disease enough to acquire a partial immunity, which can lessen the severity of malaria symptoms. However, this partial immunity can disappear if you move to a place where you’re no longer frequently exposed to the parasite.

Complications of Malaria

Malaria can be fatal, particularly when caused by the plasmodium species common in Africa. The World Health Organization estimates that about 94% of all malaria deaths occur in Africa — most commonly in children under the age of 5.

Malaria deaths are usually related to one or more serious complications, including:

Cerebral malaria. If parasite-filled blood cells block small blood vessels to your brain (cerebral malaria), swelling of your brain or brain damage may occur. Cerebral malaria may cause seizures and coma.

Breathing problems. Accumulated fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema) can make it difficult to breathe.

Organ failure. Malaria can damage the kidneys or liver or cause the spleen to rupture. Any of these conditions can be life-threatening.

Malaria may recur

Some varieties of the malaria parasite, which typically cause milder forms of the disease, can persist for years and cause relapses.

Prevention of Malaria

If you live in or are traveling to an area where malaria is common, take steps to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. To protect yourself from mosquito bites, you should:

Cover your skin. Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck in your shirt, and tuck pant legs into socks.

Apply insect repellent to skin. Use an insect repellent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency on any exposed skin. These include repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD) or 2-undecanone. Do not use a spray directly on your face. Do not use products with OLE or PMD on children under age 3.

Apply repellent to clothing. Sprays containing permethrin are safe to apply to clothing.

Sleep under a net. Bed nets, particularly those treated with insecticides, such as permethrin, help prevent mosquito bites while you are sleeping.

Preventive medicine

If you’ll be traveling to a location where malaria is common, talk to your doctor a few months ahead of time about whether you should take drugs before, during and after your trip to help protect you from malaria parasites.

In general, the drugs taken to prevent malaria are the same drugs used to treat the disease. What drug you take depends on where and how long you are traveling and your own health.


Malaria is treated with prescription drugs to kill the parasite.

The types of drugs and the length of treatment will vary, depending on

Which type of malaria parasite you have

The severity of your symptoms

Your age

Whether you’re pregnant


The most common antimalarial drugs include:

Chloroquine phosphate. Chloroquine is the preferred treatment for any parasite that is sensitive to the drug. But in many parts of the world, parasites are resistant to chloroquine, and the drug is no longer an effective treatment.

Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). ACT is a combination of two or more drugs that work against the malaria parasite in different ways. This is usually the preferred treatment for chloroquine-resistant malaria. Examples include artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem) and artesunate-mefloquine.

Malaria Parasite Test

Malaria is a serious disease caused by a plasmodium parasite spread by infected female anopheles mosquito. These parasites including falciparum, ovale, malariae, vivax cause malaria which is passed to humans through the bite of infected mosquitos. At first, malaria symptoms may be similar to those of the flu.

Later on, malaria can lead to life-threatening complications.
Malaria is not contagious like a cold or flu, but it can be spread from person to person by mosquitos. If a mosquito bites an infected person, it will spread the parasite to anyone it bites afterward. If you are bitten by an infected mosquito, the parasites will travel into your bloodstream.

The parasites will multiply inside your red blood cells and cause illness. Malaria tests look for signs of a malaria infection in the blood.
Malaria is common in tropical and subtropical areas.

Every year, millions of people are infected with malaria, and hundreds of thousands of people die from the disease. Most people who die from malaria are young children in Africa. While malaria is found in more than 87 countries, most infections and deaths happen in Africa. Malaria is rare in the United States. But U.S. citizens who travel to Africa and other tropical countries are at risk for getting infected.

Other names: malaria blood smear, malaria rapid diagnostic test, malaria by PCR

Significance of the Malaria Parasite test.

Malaria tests are used to diagnose malaria. If malaria is diagnosed and treated early, it can usually be cured. Left untreated, malaria can lead to life-threatening complications, including kidney failure, liver failure, and internal bleeding.

Why do I need a malaria test?

You may need this test if you live or have recently traveled to an area where malaria is common and you have symptoms of malaria. Most people will have symptoms within 14 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito.

But symptoms can show up as soon as seven days afterward or can take as long as a year to appear. In the early stages of infection, malaria symptoms are similar to the flu, and may include:
Body aches
Nausea and vomiting

In the later stages of infection, symptoms are more serious and may include:
High fever
Shivering and chills
Bloody stools
Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
Mental confusion

What happens during Malaria test?

Your health care provider will probably ask about your symptoms and for details on your recent travels. If an infection is suspected, your blood will be tested to check for signs of a malaria infection.

During a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Your blood sample may be tested in one or both of the following ways.

Blood smear test.

In a blood smear, a drop of blood is put on a specially treated slide. A laboratory professional will examine the slide under a microscope and look for parasites.

Rapid diagnostic test.

This test looks for proteins known as antigens, which are released by malaria parasites. It can provide faster results than a blood smear, but a blood smear is usually needed to confirm a diagnosis.

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t any special preparations for a malaria test. However dont take any anti malaria drugs prior to the test.

What do the results of Malaria Test mean?

If your results were negative, but you still have malaria symptoms, you may need retesting. The number of malaria parasites can vary at times. So your provider may order blood smears every 12-24 hours over a period of two to three days. It’s important to find out whether you have malaria so you can get treated quickly.

If your results were positive, your health care provider will prescribe medicine to treat the disease. The type of medicine will depend on your age, how serious your malaria symptoms are, and whether you are pregnant. When treated early, most cases of malaria can be cured.

Is there anything else I need to know about malaria tests?

If you will be traveling to an area where malaria is common, talk to your health care provider before you go. He or she may prescribe a medicine that can help prevent malaria.

There are also steps you can take to prevent mosquito bites. This may reduce your risk of getting malaria and other infections transmitted by mosquitos.

To prevent bites, you should:
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET on your skin and clothing.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
Use screens on windows and doors.
Sleep under a mosquito net.