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2 parasite question

William Reeder wmr-60 at ix.netcom.com
Sat Apr 17 14:23:06 EST 1999

Leo J. Sifflet M.D. wrote:
> please unsubscribe leo1932 at svpal.org
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 23:19:06 -0400
> From: gary schmertmann <froglog at bellsouth.net>
> To: parasitology at net.bio.net
> Subject: 2 parasite questions
> My stepchildren, ages 9 and 11, live in Sydney, Australia with their
> mom. They had recently been to the dentist. Apparently, my stepson has
> been grinding his teeth a lot lately.  The dentist felt it was due to an
> 'Aussie worm/parasite' and recommended that the whole family take a dose
> of deworming medication, with my stepson taking an additional dose a
> week later.
> Does anyone know the name of the parasite(s) (Genus and Species or
> common name) that can cause someone to grind his/her teeth?  The
> majority of information I found on the Internet mentioned bruxism as a
> symptom of parasitic infections, but never listed the name(s) of the
> parasite responsible.  By what mechanism does a  parasitic infection
> cause a person to grind his/her teeth?  How would one contract it? Is it
> a common parasitic infection in Sydney? Is treatment (assuming the
> correct medicine was prescribed) always effective?
> One of the articles I came across was entitled, "Are you clear of
> parasites?" by Dr. Ross Anderson. In the article he quoted:
> "In recent medical studies, it has been estimated that 85% of the North
> American adult population has at least one form of parasite living in
> their bodies. Some authorities feel this figure may be as high as
> 95%."
> Does anyone know the source of the quotation?  Since the article was
> associated with an ad for a colon cleansing treatment, I don't have much
> faith in its use of technical information.
> Also, another article mentioned that parasitic infections can have
> neurologic effects similar to seizures.  I believe the source quoted was
> a parasitic textbook.  The same article also mentioned an investigation
> by the CDC in which 3 Jewish men were found to be infected with a
> parasite commonly found in pork.  Does anyone recognize the article? Can
> anyone provide the name of the textbook referenced that talks about
> seizures as a potential symptom of parasitic infections?  Has anyone
> ever heard of seizure-like symptoms being reported and then  attributed
> to a parasitic infection?
> Thanks,
> Marcia

Some more on Enterobius vermicularis.  The eggs of this worm are laid on 
the skin surrounding the anus, this occurs while sleeping.  The eggs 
quickly contaminate bedding and clothing and because infected children 
may scratch, eggs can often be found under their fingernails.  The eggs 
are very light and the slightest air currents can send the eggs airborne. 
 One becomes infected by inhaling airborne eggs or by placing 
contaminated fingers or contaminated objects in their mouths.  Inhaled 
eggs are swallowed after being caught in mucous which eventually is moved 
to the throat (this is a normal mechanism for the respiratory system to 
rid itself of unwanted particles).  The worms live in the large intestine 
 and have a life span of only about 2 months.  Reinfection is extemely 
common with children easily infecting themselves by scratching then 
putting their finger in their mouths.

There are several drugs which are highly effective (ie vermox) but 
reinfection is a common problem.

To prevent reinfection practice good hygiene in the form of handwashing 
and frequently bathing (showers are preferable to baths) especially in 
the morning  Frequently (daily) change of underwear, bedclothing and 
bedding which are most likely to be contaminated. Towels and the afore 
mentionsed items should be laundered in hot water.  Cut fingernail short 
to lessen the chances of eggs being trapped beneath them.

Infection with pinworms may very well be the worlds most common parasitic 
infection.  From "Diagnostic Medical Parasitology" (Authors - Garcia and 
Bruckner - 1997 - ISBN -1-55581-116-7) "It has been said, "You had this 
infection as a child: You have it now: or you will get it again when you 
have children!".  "Pinworm neurosis" can occur in parents and sometime 
reassurance and counseling is needed - this is a normal event in most 
peoples lives and no negative stigma should be attached to it.

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