A new species of parasitic worms named after Barack Obama

They were opened and named by a scientist from Indiana, Thomas Platt, who, according to publications, is a distant relative of the current president of the United States. Previously, he gave the names of his family and friends and other organisms discovered by him, of which he already has more than three dozen. According to Platt, the worms remind him of Obama. As he told the Associated Press, they are “incredibly tenacious, ” and he treats them with “reverence and phenomenal respect.”

Schistosomes are parasites that live in the blood of living organisms, including humans. Infection with them can lead to the development of dangerous diseases. But for turtles, according to Platt, they are harmless.

Schistosoma (lat. Schistosoma ) - a genus of trematodes, parasites with a complicated life cycle. Larvae infect mammals by penetrating the skin, mucous membranes or if swallowed. They inhabit and mate in venous blood, and they feed on it.

The greatest danger is spikes on the eggs of schistosomes, which enter through the walls of blood and lymph vessels into almost all organs and tissues of the body, piercing and damaging them.

Infection with schistosomiasis leads to severe diseases, ranging from varicose veins to cysts and tumors, in particular, schistosomiasis can cause cancer of the bladder, prostate, liver.

The scientific report on the work is published in the journal of Parasitology .


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