Cystic Echinococcosis: Doctors Find Parasites in the Spine of a Woman Who Complained of Strange Feelings in Her Legs
A tapeworm larva was hiding in her spine. (Photo Credit: Pexels)

According to reports by livescience.com, a 35-year old woman who had a strange feeling in legs almost like an electric shock, visited a hospital in France only to get the most shocking news. The woman was reportedly feeling weak and experienced some falls too.

According to the reports, the cause was quite surprising and hard to believe. Apparently, a tapeworm larva was hiding in her spine which was lined to the farms. The woman reportedly said she rode horses and has contact with cattle and she said that she was having difficulty riding her horse

However, the woman required surgery to get rid of the lesion in her spine caused by an infection by Echinococcus granulosus, which is a small tapeworm that's found in dogs and some farm animals.

What is cystic echinococcosis?

The tapeworm called Echinococcus granulosus which was found inside the woman causes a disease called cystic echinococcosis aka hydatidosis. The larvae form a cyst in the body, and it grows in the host's body causing discomfort.

Which parts of the body can the cyst develope?

Usually, the cyst grows in the lungs, liver, bones or central nervous system. Infections of the bones, however, is very rare.

How can a human get infected with Echinococcus granulosus?

It can happen due to ingestion of the eggs of the tapeworm directly or by consuming food and water contaminated with the stool of the infected animal.

How can it be diagnosed?

According to a study called Cystic Echinococcosis, 'Cysts that are not accessible to ultrasound can be studied using other imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI is better than CT at detecting the structural, stage-defining features of cysts seen on ultrasound. '

How can it be treated?

While there are many methods, in the case above mentioned the woman was treated by, surgery along with anti-parasitic medication and soon she had no symptoms of the infection. However, according to a study called Cystic Echinococcosis, 'Surgery has been considered the gold standard, but alternatives exist for selected patients and are now considered the first management options. In general, there are four different management modalities: percutaneous therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and observation without intervention (watch and wait).'

According to a study called Cystic Echinococcosis, 'Echinococcosis is one of the 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) recognized by the World Health Organization. The two major species of medical importance are Echinococcus granulosus and Echinococcus multilocularisE. granulosus affects over 1 million people and is responsible for over $3 billion in expenses every year.'