This Week in Parasitism

TWiP 117: Parasitic puzzles

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This Week in Parasitism

Vincent Racaniello

Description: TWiP is a monthly netcast about eukaryotic parasites. Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier, science Professors from Columbia University, deconstruct parasites, how they cause illness, and how you

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TWiP 117: Parasitic puzzles

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, and Daniel Griffin

The parasite prophets solve the case of the Thai Man with Abdominal Distention, and discuss the finding that metastatic leishmaniasis dependent on a virus can be prevented by blocking IL-17A.

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Case Study for TWiP 117

Woman 66 yo born in Guinea, grew up the moved to US past 10 years, just retired. Lives in Washington Heights. Mother having issues in Guinea, so went back for 3 months in 2016. Just came back a week ago, reporting headache, fever, feeling poorly. Staying in big city, with Mom (80s). Has own private toilet in nice home. No screens or bednets. Married for 40 years, recently divorces. Has had 10 children. Not sexually active. Starts with high fever, breaks, then 2 days later another for several hours, goes to ER. Given Ebola screening questions, negative, do some blood work, send her back out. 2-3 days later high fever, double vision, headache, comes to Columbia ER. No diarrhea, no urination discomfort. Has backache, feels that mouth is dry. Was admitted. Past med history: high bp, cholesterol, diabetes; not overweight; appendix out; has unknown reaction to novocaine. No smoking, drinking. Physical: 39.4 temp, 14-16 breath rate, heart rate over 100, rapid heartbeat, 2/6 systolic murmur with radiation to left carotid (flow murmur). No jugular venous distention. Abdomen right upper quadrant: slight enlargement of liver, not tender, can palpate spleen tip in left upper quadrant, slightly enlarged spleen. Normal bowel sounds, no rash. Blood: elevated white count, bands 9%. 0.1 eosinophils, platelets 79, hemoglobin 11. Bilirubin 1.5, bicarb 20, chest xray clear. Red cells: small, 79.4 mcv. Animals: don’t like animals! In middle of rainy season. Likes to walk outside in rain during day. No cats to keep out rodents. Food: all food is prepared in home. Eats all favorite foods: rice. No sick contacts, no exposure to health care setting, no bug bites. 

Send your case diagnosis, questions and comments to twip@microbe.tv

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