Categories: OMG

Man Dies After His Parasitic Worm Gets Cancer

An HIV-positive man died not because of his chronic illness, but because the parasitic worms he harbored in his gut contracted cancer.

Nature truly works in strange ways. An HIV-positive man died not because of his chronic illness, but because the parasitic worms he harbored in his gut contracted cancer.

The New England Journal of Medicine described the bizarre case as a 41-year old man diagnosed to be HIV-positive with extremely low CD4 count. Aside from the viral particles in his body, a fecalysis conducted on his sample yielded a positive result for Hymenolepis nana, a parasitic tapeworm. Further studies showed that tumors were in multiple sites in his body, so samples were taken and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. The patient was sent home with antiviral and antihelminthic drugs.

Scientists who tested the patient’s samples were left dumbstruck because what they discovered were cancerous cells which were far too small to be of human origin. After running several tests to confirm the origin of the minute cancerous cells, the scientists discovered that the cells contained DNA from the parasite H. nana. 

Photo credit: CDC

Unfortunately, the results came too late, as the patient expired three days after their discovery.

According to the author of the study, Dr. Peter Olson, mutation of the worm’s cells in humans led to cancer. “That’s never really been shown, that sort of commonality between becoming malignant in a human cell line and an invertebrate cell line”, Dr. Olson added.

Photo credit: zoologybe.blogspot

Hymenolepis nana is a common tapeworm infecting humans, but this is the first documented case of the parasite causing cancer in humans. Normally, healthy people infected by the parasite do not show symptoms, but the man was HIV-positive, making him more susceptible to the infection and allowing the parasitic cancer-causing cells to grow uncontrollably.

Source: IFL ScienceNew England Journal of Medicine

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Bees Kill Penguins by Stinging Them in the Eyes

Swarm of bees stings the eyes of penguins in Cape town 60 penguins died from…

November 16, 2021

2000 Kilogram Sunfish Caught Off North African Coast

A massive ocean sunfish measuring 2,000 kilograms was caught on North African Coast It is named Mola alexandrini or…

November 16, 2021

Man Embezzles $57K in COVID-19 Relief to Buy Pokemon Cards

A businessman in Georgia utilized the Covid-19 relief to buy a limited edition Charizard Pokemon card He committed…

November 8, 2021

Florida Man Catches and “Recycles” Alligator in Driveway

Man captures an alligator in his neighbor's yard in FloridaHe uses a trash can to…

November 1, 2021

Man Shocks Reporter on How He’d Spend the Lottery Winnings

Man surprises the reporter with his answer on how he would use the money if…

November 1, 2021

Man Joins Search Operation Not Realizing He’s the One Missing

A man was lost in the forestA man joins a search party looking for himselfHe…

November 1, 2021

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.