The Primal/Paleo Diet? Or the Parasite Diet?
May 8, 2012 at 12:09 am #16460
Recently a new diet, or new way of eating, has been flooding the internet. It’s called Primal Diet or Paleo Diet. Some of the ideas may not be too bad. BUT…
I am really appalled that people are thinking that eating raw wild meats will improve their health!
Parasite hors d’ouveres anyone?
I suppose that Parasitology might not be a favorite topic here, in fact I only found three very brief topics when I put parasites into your site search.
But maybe some of you should get prepared for an onslaught of queries in the not too distant future since this meme is gaining ground online.
Then again, maybe not. Too many parasite tests give false negative results. Especially those microscopic wet mount scans. Here’s how that goes, for those readers that don’t work in Parasitology. You get a stool specimen in from patient Fred. Patient Fred says it’s fresh, but it probably isn’t. You check to be sure it’s labelled and set it with all the others. First come first examined.
Each direct mount takes quite a bit of time to actually scan carefully, so by the time you get around to patient Fred’s sample, it is definitely not fresh, and you aren’t too likely to find anything moving around unless he’s very abundantly infested with something. Meanwhile you are working as expediently as possible. You put Fred’s diarrhea poop on a slide, cover slip it, and scan it under the
scope. Folks, realize that one small drop is being directly examined out of a cup full of poop, which is unlikely to have even held the whole BM in the first place. And since poor Fred has the runs, he’s been going more often and his specimens are diluted. So finding ova, proglottids, or actual parasitic worms is maybe at best a long shot in this one drop of one portion of one of many diluted specimens Fred poops out today. It’s trying to find a needle in a very stinky field full of haystacks. But next you will take a little portion and concentrate it to improve the odds a bit, and look again. So your odds are now like trying to find a needle in one stinky haystack instead of a field full of
stinky haystcks. You give it your best shot, but there are more poop jars awaiting your attention, and even though you follow protocol religiously and are a darn good tech, you can’t spend all day with Fred’s poop. You see a couple of suspicious things that attract your attention, but once you focus in with a higher power, the things are not well defined enough to call ova, so you move on.
Maybe the things were deteriorating ova, but you can’t be sure, and you cannot diagnose from sorta looks like, or maybe it is, you have to have a picture perfect ova. If you find one, you might be told by the pathologist or boss parasitologist that where there’s one there should be more, and that that one ova you see as perfect is probably an artifact if you don’t find at least one more picture
perfect ova. So Fred, who really has parasites, does not get diagnosed with parasites. Not today.
But Fred shouldn’t worry, tomorrow we will get another poop from Fred and try again. Oh, but, right, tomorrow is your day off, so the newbie tech will be on his own for the first time tomorrow.
Ah, well. We do what we can. You remove the mask, gloves, wash your hands, remove your protective paper coat, and go for some coffee, thankful that you will soon be rotating to another department and leaving poo-poo land behind forever. You’re good at it, but hey, you’re good at other less smelly laboratory sciences too.
Does my tale sound familiar to anyone? Any brand new ways to find parasites in stool specimens?
Yes I know there are a couple assays, but there are many more than a couple of kinds of parasites, right?
So maybe there won’t be a bunch of parasite questions. Maybe there will just be a bunch of sick people with false negative parasite tests. Who continue to enjoy wild raw moose meat, and cannot wait to share it with all their stylin’ friends.
May 8, 2012 at 2:10 am #110934wbla3335Participant
I won’t even eat sushi (how many sushi "chefs" are properly trained?). Most parasites are rather species-specific and cannot survive in atypical hosts. But there are plenty of parasites that can live in us – enough to keep me away from uncooked or improperly cooked meat/animals. Carrots are good.
May 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm #110943
Yes, carrots are good, but be sure to wash them before you eat them whether from the store, or from the garden…Parasites sit around on the dirt waiting for a host, you know. Parasites can also live on a carrot in a grocery store, maybe from an unwashed hand or maybe from the wrong fertilizing methods used on the soil it was pulled from. I have an aversion to restaurant salad bars, cause I don’t know how careful each and every cook, waitperson, and customer there before me is about cleaning veggies or cleaning hands…
Host specific parasites are not the problem, usually. There are so many that can cycle into humans. A few can breed there. And move to lungs, muscles, brain, liver. Even those that stay put cause immune responses and weaken us. The poisons used to kill them aren’t too great for us either, and getting rid of them and their progeny can take several doses of poison, err.. mean medicine.
May 9, 2012 at 9:29 pm #110985
Of course host specific parasite that are host specific for humans are a problem! Those that are host specific for animals can sometimes still spend part of their life in, you guessed it, US!
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