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156203.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:07 pm Reply with quote

I was going to title this thread Enterobius Vermicularis, but I thought that total might deter people of a nervous disposition. Once more, if you're eating lunch don't bother with the below:

Enterobius vermicularis is a parasitic pinworm which is found in the human body. It spreads by laying eggs around your arse and secreting an itchy substance. You itch your bum, getting the eggs under your fingernails where they are then transmitted back into your body through biting your nails or eating things with your hands.


156235.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:41 pm Reply with quote

I hate to say this, but most of us who have had young children have encountered these, if they're the same thing as threadworms. The worst of it is that everybody in the family, including the long-suffering parents, have to take the vermicidal medicine, which has a nasty artificial raspberry flavour, to get rid of the buggers, and then you have to take another dose two weeks later to mop up all the ones you didn't get the first time.

Erm - it isn't just my family, is it? And it was a long time ago, honestly...

<is aware of being erased from countless dinner-invitation lists>

156428.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:25 am Reply with quote

Scientists at Nottingham University's School of Pharmacy infected themselves with hookworms and showed that it improved their immunity against hay fever and asthma.

Each scientist had to stick some of the tiny hookworm larvae on to their skin with a plaster and wait for the larvae to wriggle through the skin into the lungs, through the bloodstream and into the intestine, where they would produce eggs. The eggs are excreted, but once the adult hookworms are in the gut they start to suck blood from the walls of the intestine. The theory is that this infection triggers an immune response which helps to 'dampen down' the over-reaction of the rest of the system, which is why patients with allergies such as asthma develop symptoms.


156474.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:22 am Reply with quote

We evolved with them, and are, to a certain extent, symbiotic with them. So if we remove them, we both suffer.

We are just like the environment as a whole: eliminate one part (for whatever short-sighted reason), and the other parts don't work as well anymore.

156480.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:31 am Reply with quote

That's an interesting point; so, when the adverts say "There's more germs on your kitchen surfaces than in your bog" they're not telling us anything useful?

156487.  Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:47 am Reply with quote

I'm sorry, I must have been asleep. Adverts? Useful?

We must use that one! :-D


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