September 12, 2010
September 12 - Clonorchis sinensis
Today's parasite, the human liver fluke, Clonorchis sinensis infects 30 million people in parts of Southeast and East Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, and China. Like other trematodes, this fluke has a complex life cycle that begins when a freshwater snail consumes the egg and it hatches into a miracidium. They asexually divide in the snail and eventually produce redia, which leave the snail and seek out a fish. They bore into the muscles of the fish and form a resistant cyst. If a human consumes this fish, the parasites excyst in the small intestine and make their way to the liver. There, they will mature into adults, consume bile as their main food source, and crank out 1-2 eggs per minute. The worms can cause a variety of health problems in people.