Gruesome video shows doctor pluck a ‘swimming’ inch-long parasitic worm from man’s eye after he caught an infection from his DOG
- The patient, known only as Mr Yan, 54, had sharp pains in his left eye
- On examination, Dr Zhou Guping discovered three parasitic roundworms
- They measured 2cm (0.8ins) in length and were the thickness of sewing thread
- The Thelazia callipaeda roundworm species is carried by cats and dogs
A gruesome video shows the moment a wriggling parasitic worm was plucked from a man’s eye after he caught an infection from his dog.
The patient, known only as Mr Yan, 54, from China, had visited an eye specialist complaining of conjunctivitis, weepy eyes and sharp pain in his left eye.
Dr Zhou Guping discovered three parasitic roundworms swimming in Mr Yan’s left eye, and also their eggs nearby, according to local reports.
The worms were of the Thelazia callipaeda species and measured around 2cm (0.8 inches) in length and were the thickness of sewing thread.
Mr Yan was suffering from thelaziasis, a condition also known as ‘eye worm infestation’, which causes inflammation and can in severe cases destroy eyesight.
The worms commonly infest the eyes of dogs and cats, so Dr Guping believes the parasites spread from Mr Yan’s pooch.
Dr Zhou Guping plucked parasitic worms from a patient’s eye (pictured)
The worms were of the Thelazia callipaeda species, measuring around 2cm in length and the thickness of sewing thread. One is pictured under the microscope
Mr Yan, who lives in the city of Ningbo in East China’s Zhejiang Province, was on edge when he visited University Mingzhou Hospital, according to Dr Guping.
‘I shined a light into his eye and saw the worms swimming in it,’ the doctor said. ‘I told the patient, who was very scared.
WHAT IS AN EYE PARASITE?
A parasite is an organism which lives inside another living organism, and depends on other creatures in order to stay alive. They often harm their host in the process.
Around three quarters of parasites are so small they’re not visible to the human eye. Some, such as worms, may grow much larger.
Examples of parasites which may live in humans include tapeworms and roundworm, which both live in the digestive tract.
Possible symptoms of parasite infection include skin bumps or rashes, weight loss or increased appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhoea, and fever.
Parasitic eye infections can cause symptoms such as pain, inflammation, watery eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, itching and even blindness.
Acanthamoeba keratitis is one of the main infections of they eye, caused by the parasite acanthamoeba. The organism is found within freshwater and marine environments worldwide.
Some parasites enter the body through the mouth or skin, and then travel to the eye.
‘The parasites were very lively and swam away as soon as I touched them.
‘They were each about one to two cm (0.4 to 0.8 inches) in length, and about as thick as regular sewing thread.
‘Only the patient’s left eye was infested. His right eye had not been contaminated.’
Dr Guping said he removed three eye worms and several eggs from Mr Yan’s left eye in three minutes.
He was also put on a course of anti-parasitics which should help to clear the infection.
As the worms – known as nematodes – are spread by flies and are known to inhabit the tear ducts and eyelids of dogs and cats, Mr Zhou said it’s likely Mr Yan the worms were passed from the pet dog.
Eggs or larvae can spread from infected pets to humans when owners fail to practise good hygiene, the medic noted.
Dr Guping added: ‘The thought of a worm swimming in your eye is a frightening thought to anyone, and these parasites are also very small and hard to find.
‘But actually the condition is easy to diagnose and, if treated early, won’t lead to any further negative effects.
‘Symptoms such as pink eye or pain subside as soon as the worms are removed.
‘However, if the worms are left in the eye for too long, they can damage the cornea, which may lead to impaired vision.’
T. callipaeda is widespread across Asia and has recently become established in Europe.
Other worms of the same species – T. californiensis and T. gulosa – exist across Asia, Europe, US, and Australia.