Paragonimus westermani: Third Time's a Charm

Fast Facts

Did you know that...  

 P. westermani doesn't discriminate between body parts. Although it prefers our lungs, it will migrate to almost anywhere else in the body as well. There was even one case of the little fluke ending up in someone's little finger! (Sims et al. 2010)
Number 3; Retrieved from:
In order to live in both the lungs and little fingers of its definitive host (mostly us, some other mammals), P. westermani has THREE entirely different populations of mitochondria that produce ATP in both aerobic and anerobic environments (Takaiyama et al. 20010).

 Fluke is just the common name for a trematode (Procop 2009).

Not counting the egg, P. westermani has FOUR unique forms through its life cycle: miricidia (free-living cilliated zygote) (Liu et al. 2008), cercaria (zygotic worm) (Iwagami et al. 2007), metacercaria (encysted worm) (Kuk-Na, et al. 2005), and adult! (Rekah Devi et al. 2012).

Once in your gut, P. westermani metacercaria will BURROW through your body until it reaches your lungs or other terminal destination. It does this via secreting special enzymes that soften your body tissues, making it easier to pass through! (Na, et al. 2005)

Bengal tiger; Retrieved from:

 The latter part of the fluke's name (westermani) was taken from the name of a zookeeper whose Bengal tigers died of paragonimiasis from the fluke (Procop 2009). you know!

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