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Doctors have extracted a live, wriggling 3-inch parasitic worm from a woman’s brain in an unprecedented achievement.

A 64-year-old Australian woman underwent brain surgery during which neurosurgeon Dr. Hari Priya Bandi unexpectedly discovered a live 8-centimeter parasitic roundworm moving in her brain. This was the first recorded instance of a live worm found in a human brain. The worm was identified as Ophidascaris robertsi, a roundworm usually found in pythons. The patient likely became an accidental host by consuming contaminated Warrigal greens, a leafy vegetable, that had come into contact with python feces. The case highlights the risk of diseases transferring from animals to humans due to increased human encroachment into animal habitats. Although this particular infection does not transmit between people, it serves as a reminder of the potential for new infections to emerge. The case also emphasizes the importance of washing hands thoroughly after handling foraged products. This incident is distinct from cases involving tapeworm larvae in the brain, such as neurocysticercosis, which is caused by ingesting tapeworm eggs from feces and can lead to neurological symptoms.