“Creepy, Dreadful, Wonderful Parasites” July 11: A Parasitologist’s View of the World
Every week, Mayo Clinic microbiologist Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new Parasite Wonders case. This week's case features a zoonotic infection that can potentially involve humans. The patient is a sheep named Mr. Grumpy. Although grumpiness is his usual state of being, he was particularly grumpy when Dr. Pritt saw him because he had a wound infested with maggots. Wounds in sheep can be difficult to detect early on because they are often hidden under dense wool. Poor Mr. Grumpy had likely acquired his wound while in a new pasture, and it had taken several days before behavior changes alerted the owners to his condition.
Here is the original photo of his wound (warning—not for the squeamish), followed by one after he has been shorn and cleaned up a bit:
Many thanks to Terri who allowed Dr Pritt to participate in removing the maggots from Mr. Grumpy and make him (hopefully) less grumpy. Harry (Dr. Pritt's student from London) and Dr. Pritt plucked them one at a time from the wound and placed them in 70% ethanol for transport to the lab:
Here is a close-up of the wool above the wound where a lot of the maggots were hiding:
Here are some that were removed from the deep wound:
Once back in the lab, this is what was seen:
What is the identification of these maggots?
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 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.