Meet the menagerie of parasites that can live in human eyes

Popular Science | 6/21/2018 | Staff
MysticHeart (Posted by) Level 3
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When Abby Beckley started work on a salmon fishing boat in Alaska, worms were not high on her list of concerns. But it wasn’t long before the 26-year-old woman became aware of something irritating her left eye. After several days, she finally went digging with her fingers… and plucked out a tiny worm. And it wasn’t the only one.

“I was just pulling them out, so I knew there were a lot,” Beckley recently told National Geographic.

Mystified - Beckley - Doctors - Sample - Worms

Mystified, Beckley’s doctors sent a sample of the errant worms to the state health department, who forwarded it to Richard Bradbury, a parasitologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Parasitic Diseases Reference Laboratory, which identifies thousands of parasites every year that are too rare for doctors to recognize. He and his colleagues discovered that the offender was a cattle eyeworm, Thelazia gulosa, and were able to offer reassurance that it wouldn’t invade Beckley’s brain or burrow into her eyeball.

It turns out that Beckley was the first person ever known to have her eyes colonized by that particular species. However, the cattle eyeworm is far from the only interloper that’s been found in this part of the body, Bradbury says....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Science
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