After decades of work, the finish line was in sight for victory against guinea worm, an excruciatingly painful parasite. That success is now threatened by hundreds of cases among dogs in Chad. Scientists are desperate to stop it in its tracks before it spreads widely to…

An Oregon woman felt an irritant in her left eye and a week later pulled out a translucent worm; after 2 weeks of treatment, doctors pulled out a couple dozen more. Her case represents the first-ever human instance of Thelazia gulosa, a type of eye worm spread by “face…

Veterans are dying from cancer traced to a southeast Asian parasite endemic to Vietnam’s rivers. The symptoms take decades to appear. The US Department of Veterans Affairs research found 20% of 50 blood samples tested positive or bordering positive for liver fluke…

Aiming to better understand the spread of schistosomiasis—a water-borne, tropical infection often resulting in abdominal pain, diarrhea and blood in the stool or urine—bioengineer Manu Prakash investigated the unusual swimming patterns of the parasite that causes it.  

In the US, the Chigoe flea, also known as a chigger, is considered a mere nuisance. But elsewhere, this parasitic flea causes an inflammatory skin disease called tungiasis, which can lead to gangrene, amputations and painful lesions.  

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and infections continue to affect Somalia’s 10.6 million people amidst conflict and political instability. Factors that have exacerbated NTDs include the country’s high percentage of people living in severe poverty, which is about 60%, and…

Consider it a cruel natural experiment. What happens when a country that was the first in the world to eliminate malaria from its most populated areas suffers an economic collapse 5 decades later? Malaria roars back. In desperation, at least 70,000 Venezuelans have…

Despite a massive campaign that reduced the number of human cases of Guinea worm from several million to only 7 this year in 4 countries, eradication isn’t a slam dunk. The worm has found a new way to hide and thrive: in dogs. More than 600 hundred canines in Chad have the…

Open the doors of a certain suburban Maryland warehouse and you’ll discover more than 120,000 jars, jugs and test tubes—many containing parasitic worms. Property of the Smithsonian Institution, the worm collection is a historical treasure trove relied upon by researchers…

The world is tantalizingly close to the end of Guinea worm disease, with just 2 confirmed cases left—a far cry from the 3 million cases a year a few decades ago. Both of the cases of the illness caused by the parasite—dubbed “fiery serpent”—are in Chad. There also 2…