Doctors in Australia have reported finding a live worm measuring 8cm (3in) in length in a woman’s brain.
The woman, aged 64, had been suffering from various symptoms, including stomach pain, cough, night sweats, forgetfulness, and depression, which led to her hospitalization.
The worm was discovered during surgery in Canberra, pulled from the patient’s frontal lobe, and is believed to have been alive in her brain for up to two months.
The woman’s condition, the first known instance of larvae invasion and development in the human brain, is detailed in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. The parasitic roundworm, Ophidascaris robertsi, is commonly found in carpet pythons, non-venomous snakes in Australia.
It is suggested that the woman might have caught the roundworm after collecting a type of native grass contaminated by python feces and parasite eggs, near a lake where she lived.