“Creepy, Dreadful, Wonderful Parasites” Oct. 24: 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 was donated by Josette McMichael, M.D., an American dermatologist currently working in East Africa. The patient is an elderly woman who presented with a two-week history of 10 pruritic (itching) burning nodules involving her left upper arm, face, breast, chest, trunk, and legs. What's the identification?

Here is a video of one of the lesions:

 

This object was removed and placed in a sterile container without preservative:

It was still quite lively!

 

Approximately one week later, it was sent to my laboratory for identification. Even though it had darkened significantly, the diagnostic features were still apparent. Here is the posterior end:

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.

BobbiP

Bobbi Pritt, M.D.

Bobbi Pritt, M.D., is Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory in Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Her research interests are in clinical parasitology, vector-borne diseases, trainee education, and appropriate test utilization.