With dengue and mysterious viral epidemics hitting Sri Lanka
, the Medical Research Institute said yesterday it had identified in a Sri Lankan the largest parasite to survive in the human body.
The parasite known as the Balantidium Coli` is the largest protozoa parasite that has ever been found in a Sri Lankan, Medical Research Institute`s Chief Parasitologist Sagarika Samarasinghe said.
This parasite lives in the large colon of pigs and it is the largest protozoa parasite in the world and it is found in the droppings of pigs and enters the human body by way of water that is contaminated with the infected droppings.
This parasite was found when the stools of a patient at the National Hospital were tested. Patients infected by this parasite are known to suffer from skin rashes and diarrhoea.
The parasite was identified by medical laboratory technician Thushara Thanthirige.
Meanwhile the threadworm `Strongyloides Stercoralis` was also identified by the medical research institute.
Hundreds of these worms had been developing for more than 25 years in the abdomen of the patient who was tested at the Colombo National Hospital.
These kinds of parasites are found to be present in the human body as a result of reduced immunity levels in the body due to contraction of HIV or the overuse of steroids. (DM Online)