“Creepy, Dreadful, Wonderful Parasites” March 29: A Parasitologist’s View of the World

To celebrate Dr Pritt's 10-year anniversary of her blog, "Creepy Dreadful Wonderful Parasites," readers submitted their artistic parasite creations. Dr. Pritt placed the names of each person who submitted something into a hat and then randomly selected five names.

And the winners are:

  • Rachael Liesman
  • Sidnei Silva
  • Prakhar Vijay
  • Melanie Bois
  • Kevin Barker

Parasite creative works (by category):

Drawings and Paintings

Giardia and Leishmania, adorned in traditional Brazilian costumes.
Illustrated by Sidnei da Silva
Trypanosoma brucei Charcoal sketch by Emily Evans
Schistosoma couple
Painted on canvas by Prakhar Vijayvargiya
Tsetse fly and Reduviid bug
Illustrated by Amy Gallimore


Plasmodium berghei with a "Friday Feeling Smile" by Kevin Barker
Looking for anisakids—a fish dissecting party with Rachel Vaubel, Melissa Blessing, Xuemei Wu, Emily Patterson, Melanie Bois, and Heidi Lehrke.


Cerebral toxoplasmosis by Melissa Blessing

Mixed Media


Dipylidium caninum scarf by Heidi Lehrke
Giardia kiteii by Florida Fan
Leishmania cross-stitch by Tiffany Borbon

Edible Parasite Goodies

Dracunculus medinensis and myiasis cupcakes by Rachael Liesman
Plasmodium falciparum cookies by Emily Fernholz

Parasite Costumes


Dermatobia hominis baby by Reeti Khare
Dipylidium caninum by Heather Rose
"Tubes of blood" for FIL (filariasis) and MAL (malaria) testing by Felicity Norris, Aimee Boeger and Brenda Nelson (note that Aimee is a green top tub (heparin) which we don't accept in my lab, so she has been 'cancelled'
Taenia solium with detachable 'proglottids' by Jadee Neff and family
Taenia solium and eosinophils with Rose Sandell and Melanie Bois
"Entamoeba histolytica/E. dispar/E. moshkovskii/E. bangladeshi and E. hartmanni - who can tell them apart?" with Patty Wright, Corrisa Miliander, Heather Rose, Emily Fernholz and Kelli Black
An engorged and gravid tick by Elli Theel
Giemsa by Jane Hata
A fish with a tapeworm by Rachael Liesman


by Blaine Mathison

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
the fleas were all nestled in the fur of the mouse.
They paired with their loved ones under a sprig of mistletoe,
A gift from Cousin Chigoe, from down south in the toe.

The larvae were pupating in the bed of the host,
carrying Dipylidium cysticercoids, an infectious dose!
The Yersinia pestis churned in the foregut
until such time when the proventriculus would erupt!

All of a sudden there appeared such a clatter!
The fleas sprang from the fur to see what was the matter.
Crawling up the leg of the host, with such stealth and so quick,
was the holiday icon known as St. Tick.

“Now Ixodes, now Dermacentor, and Amblyomma!
On RhipicephalusOrnithodoros, don’t forget Hyalomma.”
He got right to work and delivered the fleas' presents
full of pathogens to spread to medieval peasants,

Then he sprang to his sleigh and let out a whistle,
Then they took off into the night like a guided missile.
But I heard him exclaim as flew out of sight,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good bite!

Every week, Mayo Clinic microbiologist Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new case, along with the answer to the previous case. Read Dr. Pritt's blog, Parasite Wonders, and submit your answers, comments, and questions. Also, visit her new website ParasiteWonders.com, which hosts an archive of classic images from cases Dr. Pritt has posted going back to 2007 (in an easy-to-search "A through Z" format) and also offers a flashcard feature.

Dr. Pritt started her blog after she completed her fellowship at Mayo Clinic in clinical microbiology. She attended the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to study parasitology for one year. During that year in England, Dr. Pritt saw some amazing cases, which she shared with her colleagues back at Mayo through her blog. Through word of mouth, people from all walks of life around the globe have become interested in Dr. Pritt’s “case of the week,” and her readership continues to grow.

Note from Dr. Pritt: All opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as, and does not substitute for, medical advice. I do not accept medical consults from patients.

Bobbi Pritt, M.D.

Bobbi Pritt, M.D.

Bobbi Pritt, MD, MSc, is a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and the Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. She is also the Chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology. Her research interests are in clinical parasitology, vector-borne diseases and the pathology of infectious diseases.