Rishta Worm (Guinea Worm Dracunculus Medinensis): Routes Of Infection, Symptoms, Life Cycle And Treatment

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Rishta Worm (Guinea Worm Dracunculus Medinensis): Routes Of Infection, Symptoms, Life Cycle And Treatment
Rishta Worm (Guinea Worm Dracunculus Medinensis): Routes Of Infection, Symptoms, Life Cycle And Treatment
Video: Rishta Worm (Guinea Worm Dracunculus Medinensis): Routes Of Infection, Symptoms, Life Cycle And Treatment
Video: Dracunculiasis | Guinea worm | Structure, Life cycle, symptoms, treatment | Bio science 2023, February
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  • What kind of parasitic worm rishta (guinea worm)
  • Rishta - the causative agent of dracunculiasis
  • How does infection occur
  • Symptoms of a rishta infection
  • Treatment
  • You can defeat parasites!

Traveling to the subtropical countries of Africa, Asia and South America carries the risk of infection with worms.

Sometimes it is called the Guinea worm, and the disease itself is called dracunculiasis. The disease is caused by female helminths. The final host is man and some mammals.

What to do in such a situation? To get started, we recommend reading this article. This article details the methods of dealing with parasites. We also recommend contacting a specialist. Read the article >>>

What kind of parasitic worm rishta (guinea worm)

The causative agent of the disease is Dracunculus medinensis (medical string) or Rishta (Guinea worm). Helminth from the nematode group. Adult parasites are filament-shaped, milky-white in color. Males reach 12-30 mm in length, and females 30-100 cm.

The latter are able to live in the human body for more than a year, and the former die in 3-5 months after mating.

Guinea worm
Guinea worm
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Guinea worm

A person becomes infected by drinking water with freshwater crustaceans, which are intermediate hosts in the development cycle of the rishta. After that, in the digestive tract, the larvae are released from the bodies of the crustaceans, and through the walls of the duodenum, they migrate through the host's body to the muscle tissue.

There they reach puberty, seek out partners and copulate (mate). Males die, and females continue to migrate into the subcutaneous tissue of the extremities.

Why in the limb? There the female secretes a special substance that causes a local reaction: itching, redness, hyperthermia (fever) and blisters.

After a certain time, the inflammatory focus breaks up and the unbearable itching stops if a person lowers an arm or leg into cold water.

Under the influence of low temperature, the uterus of the parasite contracts intensively, which leads to the rapid release of all larvae into the environment.

Then they look for freshwater crustaceans in the water, inside which they continue their life cycle. Subsequently, a person drinks water with these crustaceans, and the cycle continues again.

Rishta - the causative agent of dracunculiasis

The disease is reported in countries with tropical climates. Adult helminths parasitize the subcutaneous tissue and connective tissue. According to studies, men most often suffer from dracunculiasis, less often children and women.

Provided that if 1 helminth lives in the human body, then the patient's recovery occurs 1-2 months after the extraction of the parasite. Risht parasites are able to stay in the human body for a year and a half.

A snapshot of an infected leg
A snapshot of an infected leg
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A snapshot of an infected leg

In the human body, rishts can parasitize both individually and as a whole group. Some sources describe parasitizing up to 50 individuals at once. The main danger lies in the possible development of complications. These can be:

  • Cellulitis.
  • Gangrene.
  • Cardiovascular diseases.
  • Peritonitis.
  • Infections of a different nature.
  • Sepsis.

If the males die after fertilization, then the females continue to exist. At the exit site, where the female releases future offspring, phlegmon is formed.

The secret used to irritate the skin surface, waste products, mechanical damage to the skin become the source of the development of other pathologies. In addition, prolonged infection with rishta reduces human immunity.

How does infection occur

The main risk group for infection with the Guinean worm is made up of residents of subtropical and tropical countries, as well as tourists visiting these countries.

There are 2 ways of infection:

  1. Drinking contaminated water.
  2. Walking on the banks of rivers and lakes, swimming in them.

Bathing or bathing encourages the ingestion of water from open bodies of water. And also cooking during hiking trips, when poorly boiled water is used for food.

The risk of infection is greatest during dry periods. When water bodies dry up, the concentration of crustaceans and larvae in water bodies increases.

In addition, the shores that were previously under water are opening up. Accordingly, then people make direct contact with the contaminated soil.

Development life cycle
Development life cycle
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Development life cycle

Factors contributing to the invasion of guinea worm:

  • Unsanitary conditions.
  • Lack of equipped water supply and sewerage systems.
  • Ignoring general safety rules.

In normal practice, the first symptoms appear one year after infection. People visiting exotic countries do not associate dracunculiasis with their travel in any way. In this connection, the simplest sanitary standards are neglected.

Symptoms of a rishta infection

The larval stage proceeds without clinical manifestations. Because of this, it has been little studied and diagnosis during this period is difficult.

The first symptoms appear 9-12 months after infection. As the female Rishta worms develop, the following symptoms appear:

  • Nausea, vomiting and stool disorder.
  • Allergic reactions in the form of edema, urticaria.
  • Fever.
  • General weakness with dizziness and loss of consciousness.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Then, at the site of the parasite, edema, local lymphadenitis and swelling of the adjacent joints are formed.

Within a week, a pseudofuruncle is formed in places of edema, subsequently a bubble with a diameter of up to 7 cm is formed. It is filled with yellow liquid and contains worm larvae and lymphocytes. After a few days, the bubble bursts with the release of a necrotic mass and then the tip of the parasite is visible.

The person experiences a burning pain that subsides when the ulcer comes into contact with cool water. The diagnosis of dracunculiasis is made after taking an anamnesis and a comprehensive study.

Treatment

Dracunculiasis therapy consists in mechanical removal of the guinea worm through an incision or ulcer formed. For this, the worm is wound on a roller, preventing the parasite from bursting. Otherwise, the existing fluid in the body of the helminth can cause anaphylactic shock.

Extracting rishta
Extracting rishta
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Extracting the parasite

The extraction procedure lasts from 2 days to 60 days. Every day, up to 10 centimeters of helminth is wound on a roller, with the slightest resistance, the procedure is postponed the next day.

To facilitate the process, medications are used:

Drug name pharmachologic effect Therapeutic dosage
Metronidazole

Metronidazole
Metronidazole
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Antiprotozoal and antimicrobial drug. Every 8 hours, 250 mg. The duration of therapy is 10 days.
Ambilgar It has schistosomal and amoebicidal action. It is administered at 25-30 mg / kg per day, in two doses.
Mintezol

Mintezol
Mintezol
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Antihelminthic agent. Apply at 25 mg / kg 2 times a day for 4 days.

Additionally, the use of antihistamines, corticosteroids and antibiotics for the prevention of secondary infections is shown.

In the event of a break, the body of the parasite is surgically removed. Among other things, the patient is given anti-tetanus serum.

Prophylaxis is an effective way to protect yourself from the risht parasite. In countries with an endemic focus of dracunculiasis, you should refrain from swimming in water bodies and visiting beaches where there is no planned parasite control.

Use only boiled water with pre-filtration for drinking. And if a parasite is found, immediately contact medical institutions, without trying to self-medicate.

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