1. Mouthparts of the “Old World Hookworm” (Ancylostoma duodenale) and “New World Hookworm” (Necator americanus). 

2. How those mouthparts attach to the intestinal mucosa.

3. The basic life-cycle of the hookworm - note that it likes sandy, loose soil, the same kind that is good for farming in the south - the farmers with the good land were always noted to be “lazy”, “slow”, or “sleepy”. This was due to heavy hookworm infection.

Chronic, heavy-intensity hookworm infections, due to walking barefoot near faecal matter, were once common in the south. In areas where the hookworms thrived, these infections, though not obvious, caused chronic anemia and nutrient loss. This, in turn, led to “laziness” (basic exhaustion due to iron deficiency and other deficiencies), diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems, and kids missing school/having trouble learning in the first place.

Standard Oil saw a lot of opportunity in the relatively undeveloped south, but first, they needed to figure out why its citizens with the best land and (who were most likely to use new oil-run farm equipment) were so unproductive. Once the south underwent a massive sanitation initiative started by John D. Rockefeller in 1909, hookworm infection and its health implications began to quickly disappear. Latrines were built, shoe importance (especially when using the latrine) was emphasized, and the population was educated as to what they had to do to avoid infection and what they had to do to rid themselves of their current infections.

The campaign was a major success, and along with the foundation of better universities and emphasis on higher standards of living, the elimination of hookworm infestation was one of the most important steps in “Seeing the South Rise Again”.

Animal Parasites and Human Disease. Asa C. Chandler, 1918.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: and in depth Q & A our chief of Gastroenterology

It’s estimated roughly 100 trillion microorganisms reside within our intestines, about 10 times more than the total number of human cells comprising our bodies. By and large, we share space amicably. It’s a mutually agreeable and biologically necessary relationship. Beneficial gut flora help us digest foods, train the immune system, produce vitamins and prevent pathogenic microbes from taking root.

Sometimes, though, things go wrong, resulting in conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). More than 1 million Americans are affected.  We asked William J. Sandborn, MD, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the UC San Diego Health System’s IBD Center to explore the issues.

Q: Does medical science have a pretty good understanding now of how a healthy intestinal system works or, more specifically, what causes a problem like inflammatory bowel disease?

A: I am always hesitant to say that we have a complete understanding, but we do know more than we used to. Advances include evolving understanding of the genetic associations for inflammatory bowel disease, and the role of the patients’ colon bacterial, which we call “the fecal microbiome.”

With regard to genetics, there are now 169 genes that are linked with inflammatory bowel disease. This means that the inflammatory bowel diseases – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – are complex genetic disorders. Related to the fecal microbiome, we now have an understanding that the bacteria in the colons of patients with IBD are different from healthy people without IBD. Our working definition of the cause of IBD is now that a patient with genetic susceptibility develops an inflammatory response to an altered fecal microbiome. Also, there is likely an important contribution of various environmental triggering events, such as cigarette smoking as a trigger for Crohn’s disease.

Q: What’s the difference between inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome? Can the latter lead to the former?

A: Inflammatory bowel diseases are autoimmune diseases in which the patient’s own immune system attacks their small intestine and/or colon. With a colonoscopy or with CT or MRI scan, there are findings of ulceration and inflammation and the patients often experience rectal bleeding in addition to abdominal pain and diarrhea. Treatments are anti-inflammatory and immune suppression.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a non-inflammatory condition of the small intestine and/or colon in which the motility or contractions are altered. Colonoscopy and CT or MRI scans are normal. There are two forms of irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea predominant IBS (the predominant symptom is diarrhea) and constipation predominant IBD (the predominant symptom is constipation). Treatment is targeted on treating the constipation or diarrhea.

Q: Current treatments for IBD seem to mostly involve suppressing the inflammatory immune response through antibiotics, but the result is often long-term adverse side effects and diminishing effectiveness. Where do you see more promise: In tweaking current approaches or in something new altogether?

A: That is not quite true. Antibiotics don’t reliably work for IBD. We do use the anti-inflammatory drug mesalamine (Asacol, Lialda) for ulcerative colitis and immune suppressive drugs (prednisone, azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate) and biologic drugs (Remicade, Humira, Cimzia) for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

These immune suppressive and biologic medications have some potential for side effects. But that said, for patients with significant clinical symptoms the clinical benefits often outweigh the small risks.

However, we are interested in looking at different treatment strategies such as administering steroids directly into the bowel do reduce side effects (Entocort, Uceris), using herbal remedies such as Andrographis paniculatta, stem cell therapy, more selective biologic therapies that only affect the bowel (vedolizumab), etc.

Q: What are your thoughts about some of the more unusual or exotic treatments being proposed or tested for IBD, such as “helminthic therapy” (imbibing whipworm ova) or using cannabis? Do these have a place in the armamentarium?

A: Helminthic therapy with whipworms is a very interesting idea. The rationale is that whipworms induce a natural immune suppressive response by the patient’s own immune system that could treat their ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. There are now clinical trials underway to test this therapy for both forms of IBD. I think it is a very interesting and potentially promising therapy, but it is still investigational at this point in time.

There is no good quality scientific data about the role of cannabis in patients with IBD. We just don’t know either way whether it is helpful, neutral or harmful. For this reason, I don’t think that patients should rely on cannabis as their primary therapy for IBD.

However, we can remain open-minded as to whether some patients could benefit from cannabis in addition to their standard IBD therapy. While I don’t personally prescribe medical cannabis for IBD, I do have patients who choose to take it, and some of them report benefit.

Q: What’s the connection between IBD and colon cancer? Does the risk vary with the type of IBD?

A: Long-term inflammation of the colon in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease involving the colon is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. Many patients with Crohn’s disease only have small bowel involvement or small bowel and a limited amount of upper colon (the cecum), and in these patients there is not an increased risk of colon cancer.

For patients with Crohn’s disease, which extensively involves the colon, the increased risk of colon cancer is similar to the risk seen in patients with ulcerative colitis. The colon cancer that occurs in patients with IBD starts as a flat lesion rather than a polyp. This is different from the colon cancer that occurs in the general population, which usually begins as a polyp.

To screen for colon cancer in patients with IBD, we recommend a colonoscopy with extensive biopsies of flat tissue every 1-2 years, beginning about 10 years after diagnosis of IBD.

Top 30 Project Topics / Ideas / Areas in Intermediate Zoology

Top 30 Project Topics / Ideas / Areas in Intermediate Zoology

Top 30 Project Topics / Ideas / Areas in Intermediate Zoology

Intermediate Zoology

  1. Aardwolves
  2. Acanthocephala
  3. Animal Behavior
  4. Animal Physiology
  5. Annelida
  6. Arachnida
  7. Arthropda
  8. Bats
  9. Beekeeping
  10. Biogeography of Animals
  11. Bivalvia
  12. Comparable Structure of Organ Systems
  13. Crustacea
  14. Embryology
  15. Entomology
  16. Field Zoology
  17. Gastropoda
  18. Gnathostomulida
  19. Gross Anatomy
  20. Helminths
  21. Hemichordata
  22. Histology
  23. Invertebrate…

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The World Health Organization estimates that a staggering two billion people harbor parasitic worm infections. Parasitic worms also infect livestock and crops, affecting food production with a resultant economic impact. Despite this prevalence of parasitic infections, the research on anthelmintic drug is poor. As per WHO, only few drugs are frequently used in the treatment of helminthes in human beings. Anthelmintic from the natural sources may play a key role in the treatment of this parasitic infections.In the present investigation, anthelmintic screening of crude extracts of Hygrocybe parvula. The present study aimed at the in-vitro evaluation of anthelmintic activity of various solvent extracts of fruiting bodies of H. parvula using at three different concentrations (25, 50 and 100mg/ml) respectively. The study involved the determination of time of paralysis (P) and time of death (D) of the worms. In view of this petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol extracts of fruiting bodies of H. parvula were evaluated separately for the activity on adult Indian earthworms, Pheretima posthuma, using Piperazine citrate as reference standards. The results indicated that the petroleum ether extract was more potent than the chloroform and methanol solvent extract. All extracts showed effective anthelmintic activity at 100mg/ml concentration.