Histology look-a-like #65
Schistosoia mansoni (parasites) v Speech bubbles/balloons (comics)
Seen here are the eggs of S mansoni in a histological preparation from a fecal specimen - including the dialogue I expect is occurring between them.
S. mansoni is an intestinal blood fluke that is responsible for a highly significant parasitic infection that causes the disease schistosomiasis.
Schistosomiasis is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be the second most socio-economically devastating parasitic disease on the planet behind malaria.
People become infected with the worm when the larvae – released by freshwater snails – penetrate the skin during contact with infested water.
Once in the body, the larvae develop into adult schistosomes (worms/flukes). The adult worms live within the mesenteric blood vessels where the females release eggs. Some of the eggs are passed out of the body in the feces to continue the parasite life-cycle. Others become trapped in body tissues, causing an immune reaction and progressive damage to organs.
The body reacts to these chatty little eggs, not to the worms themselves to bring about severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and blood in the stool. In severe advanced cases the liver and spleen may enlarge, fluid can accumulate in the peritoneal cavity accompanied by hypertension of the abdominal blood vessels.
For more information on schistosomiasis visit the WHO here.