You are here:

Biology/Worm entering brain through NOSE?

Advertisement


Question
Salam Walter,

I've heard horrible stories of brain eating amoeba that invades a person's brain and eats it out. An amoeba is singular cell organism that lurks in water and can enters one's nose and make its way into brain. However, I am not sure that a worm can make its way into our brain through our NOSE. I've heard horror stories of worms entering people's brain here:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cysticercosis

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/20/health/tapeworms-invade-brain/

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/nov/21/tapeworm-parasite-mans-brain-four

A worm is much larger than an amoeba. I don't know that how can a worm enter our brain. Anyway, it might be possible that a worm can enter our brain. But my main question is: According to the biology, can a worm enter our brain through our NOSE?  

Thanks.

Answer
Lets clear up a few things here Den. There are no worms that enter the brain through the nose. In the past couple of years much has been said about the brain amoeba Naegleria Fowleri. This amoeba growa in warm stagnant water and can enter through the nose. It is not found in treated swimming pools or tap water. What are your chances of getting it. There have been 34 cases in teh US from 2002 to 2013
Now to the pork tapeworm. Tapeworms undergo two stages. The adult stage is in the intestines and the bladder stage is in the tissue. Infection from the worm is called Cysticercosis. When the brain is infected it is the bladder stage where cysts form. You can get it by swallowing the eggs. It has nothing to do with the nose. You have to be around pigs and have poor sanitation to contact it
 Of the sources you cited the first two involves the pork tapeworm which I addressed
 AS to the third I have my doubts about the validity of this account.The photo they show is that of large intestinal tapeworm


walter

Biology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Walter Hintz

Expertise

Science teacher for over 50 years. MSc. in biology. I can answer questions in general biology, zoology, botany, anatomy and physiology and biochemistry.

Experience

I have a MSc in biology and have been a science teacher for over 50 years. At present I am a faculty member at a college and a science consultant at seven catholic schools.

Publications
The Ohio journal of Science
Momentum-The Journal of the Catholic Education Association

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.