my top 5 critters of choice
[beaver fever[wikipedia]] – ANAEROBIC – also known as Giardia, is a flagellated parasitic microorganism, that colonizes and reproduces in the small intestine, causing giardiasis. The parasite attaches to the epithelium by a ventral adhesive disc or sucker, and reproduces via binary fission.
Not all Giardia infections are symptomatic, and many people can unknowingly serve as carriers of the parasite. Giardia infects humans, but it is also one of the most common parasites infecting cats, dogs and birds. Mammalian hosts also include dozens of species, including cattle, sheep, and goats.
[filarial worm[broad institute]] – Filarial worms and their larvae are parasitic thread-like round nematodes that cause a group of tropical infectious disease called Filariasis (Philariasis). The larvae are transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite. Filariasis is characterized by fever, chills, headache, and skin lesions in the early stages and, if untreated, can progress to include gross enlargement of the limbs and genitalia in a condition called elephantiasis. The worms dwell within the lymphatic and subcutaneous tissues. Up to 170 million people worldwide in the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and the islands of the Pacific are affected by this debilitating parasitic disease. While filariasis is rarely fatal, it is the second leading cause of permanent and long-term disability in the world.
[Ascaris – Ascaris suum[wikipedia]], also known as the large roundworm of pig, is a parasitic nematode that causes ascariasis in pigs. While roundworms in pigs and humans are today considered as two species with different hosts, cross-infection between humans and pigs is possible; some researchers have thus argued they are the same species.
The ascaris, is a prolific egg layer. Each female can lay from 100,000 to 200,000 eggs each day. The eggs pass out of the host with the feces. Infective larvae develop within the eggs, which are triple-coated and are not affected by adverse weather conditions. Therefore, they remain viable for up to 10 years. It is important to remember that fecal tests do not detect migration of parasite larvae within the host.
Another good reason not to surf for a while after a storm.
Ascaris eggs, may remain viable in the environment for up to 10 years. When it is ingested, it begins an amazing journey. The egg’s coating is digested in the stomach. As the eggs reach the small intestine, they hatch, and the larvae immediately penetrate the lining of the intestinal tract, beginning a 30-day migration. Think leaky gut.
Liver With Ascaris Larvae Damage
The eggs travel via the hepatic vein to the liver, where they eat their way around the liver for seven to 10 days. The real damage takes place here and in the lungs. Fortunately, the liver is a very resilient organ and can regenerate itself. We seldom see any permanent damage to the liver from ascaris larval migration.
The larvae then go to the lungs and continue their migration for 14-21 days, again eating their way around lung tissue. Damage done to the lungs is a different story than that of the liver, because the lungs, which heal by scarring, do not regenerate. This damage is permanent. After the ascaris mature and are ready to complete migration, they burrow from the blood side of the lung into the air side.
When migrating ascarid larvae are present, the immune system reacts violently to the foreign protein and destroys the alveoli. Such damage predisposes the host to pneumonia and may result in diminished pulmonary function and further disease. Because lung tissue heals by scarring, damage to these sensitive structures is permanent. Think COPD.
Hosts whose lungs have been damaged by ascaris larval migration may have to breathe harder and faster making everyday tasks more difficult. Again, think COPD.
The worms then crawl from the alveoli into the bronchioles, to the bronchi, and into the trachea. They cause enough irritation to elicit a cough, so they are coughed to the back of the throat and re-swallowed as mature larvae. As adults, they swim upstream in the small intestine, robbing the host of nutrition. These parasites have a very efficient migration. When the larvae reach the small intestine for the second time, their presence causes little consequence to the host.
Although hosts may develop an immunity to ascaris, that immunity does not prevent the migration and damage these parasites may cause.
Ascaris larval migration can lead to other diseases. It reduces overall well-being and energy levels often referred to as chronic fatigue. Ascaris larvae may have an immunosuppressive effect in the lungs, which means they can reduce the immune system’s ability to respond to foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. Remember, fecal tests can’t detect these migrating larvae.
Think for a moment about how these roundworm survival attributes could affect your quality of life. The eggs are not affected by climatic conditions, and they survive for up to 10 years.
While pinworms and roundworms have fairly efficient life cycles, strongyles have a very unusual method of reproduction, especially considering that they developed in a desert environment. Large and small strongyles share identical life cycles outside of the body but behave very differently once they’re ingested.
Eggs are passed in the fecal matter, just like ascarid eggs. Unlike ascarid eggs, which remain in egg form until they are ingested, strongyle eggs can hatch into larvae inside the host G.I. tract if the transition time is extended(constipation) usually resulting from poor nutritional absorption. From here, they go through a series of three molts. It’s the third stage that can infect the host. Under optimal conditions, third-stage larvae can live for up to three months. For their species to survive, strongyles must be ingested shortly after molting to this stage.
Strongyle Larvae in Dew Drop – Equine, bovine, porcine and human hosts
Strongyles are prolific egg layers. A single mammalian host can pass 75-100 million eggs daily.
In an agricultural context, to increase its chances for survival, the larva climbs up on blades of grass where a horse, cattle or pigs can ingest it while grazing. In the open environment the eggs can crawl up and down a blade of grass many times or bury themselves in the soil to protect against adverse environmental conditions.
Small strongyles also developed another unique trait – the ability to encyst themselves in the host’s tissues and remain in an encysted state for a prolonged time. Unfortunately, it causes real problems for the host.
This encysted state helps the small strongyle: When larvae are ingested, they immediately penetrate the bowel lining and begin a two- to three-month migration in the intestinal tract. The immune system recognizes these migrating parasites as foreign invaders and sends its defense cells to deal with the invasion. Because the migrating parasites are too large and are moving, the defense mechanism can’t deal with them effectively. The only result from the immune response is mucosal inflammation.
If the host already has an adult population of this parasite, there appears to be a communication between the adult population and the migrating larvae. This negative feedback tells the larvae, “We have enough adults laying eggs in the intestine. Slow your migration and wait your turn to become an adult.” Once the larva slows its migration, the immune system can deal with this invader and surround it with scar tissue.
Cycle Requires Only Occasional Exposure
The small strongyle has developed a way to make the host an egg-laying machine, and keep it that way with only occasional exposure to the larvae. Host’s only have to pick up these infected larvae one time every two or three years for the small strongyle’s life cycle to function.
Small strongyles, however, are the most significant causes of chronic fatigue, poor skin condition and appearance, nutrient malabsorption and predisposition to secondary disease.
Strongylus vulgaris Migration
The pattern of migration for Strongylus vulgaris, a large strongyle, is quite different. Eggs are passed in the feces and develop through two larval stages. When a third-stage larva is ingested, it migrates to the large intestine, where it loses its sheath and penetrates the intestinal wall. The fourth-stage larvae penetrate the submucosal arterioles and migrate to the cranial mesenteric artery – the artery that supplies blood throughout the intestinal tract – where they molt to the fifth stage. These larvae return via intestinal arteries to the gut, where they reproduce.
Arterial Damage From Large Strongyles
No matter where a strongyle larva penetrates, leaves the gut and begins its migration, it will always end up at the same spot – the beginning of the cranial mesenteric artery, which is the primary blood source for the intestinal tract. All these larvae in one spot cause tremendous damage and reaction. In fact, in rare cases, the artery can rupture, causing rapid death. The more common problem is a weakening of the arterial wall, which can lead to a malformed artery – an aneurysm. This malformation causes abnormal blood flow, which can lead to formation of blood clots in the artery. These clots cling to the artery walls like clusters of grapes. Should one of these clots break free, it will be forced downstream in the blood supply of the intestines, where it may block blood flow. This situation, called thromboembolic colic, can result in serious illness and death.
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