If you don’t want worms to invade your brain, don’t eat this food! If they get into your body, the worms will eventually find their way to your major organ, including the brain. These worms are a dangerous parasite that can have fatal consequences! They were noticed when Dr. Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas examined one man’s head during an exam. The tapeworm that was inside his head was a type of worm that was never before seen in the UK!

Four years earlier, the team at Addenbrookes Hospital at Cambridge examined a man for his headaches. He came back for tests after a short time with new symptoms. The patient had previously travelled to China, a country which had most cases of the parasite known as Spirometra erinaceieuropaei along Thailand, Japan and South Korea. “When the patient returned, he had all new symptoms”, says Dr. Klotsas. The worm was finding its way to a new part of the brain, causing symptoms such as weakness in the legs and seizures besides his headaches. The infection that caused his troubles was Sparganosis, a parasitic infection caused by the plerocercoid larvae of diphyllobothroid tapeworms belonging to the genus Spirometra. When the doctors diagnosed him with the infection, they had to immediately remove the worm surgically, as the infection cannot be treated by any known drugs.

Only 300 Spirometra infections were registered between 1953 and 2013. They mostly occur in parts of Asia populated by people that has almost no knowledge of tapeworms. This type of the Spirometra tapeworm typically occurs in the intestines of animals such as dogs and cats. The animals then excrete the worm’s eggs through their feces, and the eggs eventually enter and contaminate water sources. The larvae then stay in the water for a long time until they end up in other animals such as snakes or frogs.

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