Ophidascaris robertsi

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Recently, researchers found a live eight-centimeter Ophidascaris robertsi roundworm in the brain of a 64-year-old Australian woman.

Why in news?

  • It is the first-ever human case of Ophidascaris robertsi roundworm.


About Ophidascaris robertsi: 

  • It is the parasitic roundworm, typically found in carpet pythons.
  • It typically lives in a python’s esophagus and stomach, and sheds its eggs in the host’s faeces.
  • Humans infected with Ophidascaris robertsi larvae would be considered accidental hosts.
  • Roundworms are incredibly resilient and able to thrive in a wide range of environments.
  • In humans, they can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, appetite and weight loss, fever and tiredness.This infection does not transmit between people.


Key facts about carpet pythons

  • Morelia spilota, commonly referred to as the carpet python is a large snake of the family Pythonidae 
  • It is found in Australia, New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea), Bismarck Archipelago, and the northern Solomon Islands.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Least concern


Q1) What is Roundworm?

Roundworms, also known as nematodes, are a diverse group of worms belonging to the phylum Nematoda. They are one of the most abundant and widespread groups of animals on Earth, found in various habitats ranging from soil and water to plants and animals. Roundworms come in a wide range of sizes, from microscopic to several meters in length.

Source: From snakes to humans: Live parasitic roundworm discovered in Australian woman's brain