“What kind of parasite is this?” is all this reader asks in their submission regarding the various organisms pictured below. The creatures range in color and shape: some white and some black, and most of them worm-like in shape with the exception of one that looks more ovate.
Right off the bat, we unfortunately have to tell our reader that we will not be able to answer their question. Even though they have not specifically asked if this is a parasite that they think is infesting them and causing them problems, we have to assume that this is the reason for the question. As such, the situation becomes medical in nature.
Identifying a parasite is essentially diagnosing a medical issue, and since we are not medical professionals, we are legally unable to make diagnoses or to provide an opinion related to any human symptom or condition, or what may be causing it.
What we can do is help point our reader in the direction of medical professionals who will be qualified to help them.
Naturally, our reader could consult their primary care doctor, but they usually do not receive training in medical parasitology, so if they go down this route they might have to prepare for dismissal or outright rejection.
It sounds horrible, but many of our other readers have experienced such things when they have come to their doctors with concerns about parasites. Some readers have even been called crazy.
As such, we are more keen on recommending that our readers consult a medical parasitologist when they have concerns about parasites. This is because a medical parasitologist specializes in the field of parasites, so not only are they equipped to diagnose and treat such issues, but they take them seriously.
So, what we can recommend is that our reader do one or more of the following:
1) Search for a medical parasitologist in their area using this directory of medical parasitology consultants: https://www.astmh.org/for-astmh-members/clinical-consultants-directory.
2) Search for a local parasitologist by doing a Google search for “medical parasitologist (name of the closest big city)” or “tropical medicine specialist (name of the closest big city)”.
3) Get in touch with Dr. Omar Amin at the Parasitology Center at https://www.parasitetesting.com.
4) Contact Dr. Vipul Savaliya of Infectious Disease Care (“IDCare”) at idcarepa.com.
We should note that both Dr. Amin and Dr. Savaliya are available for online consultation, so our reader does not need to be in the vicinity of their physical offices to get help!
Additionally, when our reader does consult a medical professional, we recommend that they show their physician all the same photos they sent us (and more if they have any) and also that they give as much context as possible.
When one is trying to identify any organism (of any kind), having as much context at one’s disposal is incredibly helpful and makes the process of identifying the organism much easier and faster.
To conclude, we unfortunately are not able (or qualified) to tell our reader what kind of parasite these organisms are, or if they are parasites at all. Only a licensed, medical professional would be able to tell them that with any degree of credibility. Nonetheless, we hope that we could help in some way, and we wish our reader the very best.