Some Black Worms Can Live in the Human Body

Today, we answer an inquiry from a gentleman asking if black worms live in the human body. The answer depends on what he is referring to with the words “black worm.”

If he is referring to the typical black worm found in North America and Europe, the Lumbriculus variegates (also known as a California Blackworm or a mudworm) then the answer is no (thank goodness!). Lumbriculus variegates live primarily in shallow water such as in marshes or swamps. Luckily, they would not find a human body very hospitable. You can buy Lumbriculus variegates to feed your fish.

UPDATE! All About Worms has partnered with HealthLabs so that
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required
! Check it out at HealthLabs.com!

Lumbriculus variegates (via Wikipedia Commons)

Lumbriculus variegates (via Wikipedia Commons)

However, the reader may be not be asking about the common black worm, and may instead be asking if any worms that happen to be black in color can live within the human body. In that case, the answer is yes. The human body may be host to any number of unpleasant creatures and some of these creatures are, indeed, black worms.

Take, for example, the “eye worms” Loa Loa and Mansonella perstans. The larvae of these human parasites may live in the eye and, in fact, may sometimes be seen travelling across it. Symptoms may include swelling in the hands and feet, but many people show no symptoms at all. A blood test helps correctly diagnose which parasite is present. Loa Loa and Mansonella perstans are spread by deer fly or mango fly bites, and are found primarily in Western and Central Africa.

Larvae of Mansonella perstans (left) and Loa Loa (right) in eye of Cambodian patient (via Wikipedia Commons)

Larvae of Mansonella perstans (left) and Loa Loa (right) in eye of Cambodian patient (via Wikipedia Commons)

Other parasitic species, such as the Schistosoma or blood fluke, are quite happy to live inside the human colon. Symptoms include rash and gastrointestinal issues. This parasite is common in areas with unclean drinking water (specifically, in locations where human waste may contaminate the water supply) and are not typically found in the US.

No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did we provide for you today?:
Schistosoma or blood fluke. Photo by David Williams (via Wikimedia Commons)

Schistosoma or blood fluke. Photo by David Williams (via Wikimedia Commons)

These are just three common examples, but there are many, many types of worms that may infect a human host. In every case, if you suspect that you or anyone else is infested with worms, a trip to the doctor is absolutely necessary.

Summary
Some Black Worms Can Live in the Human Body
Article Name
Some Black Worms Can Live in the Human Body
Description
Today, we answer an inquiry from a gentleman asking if black worms live in the human body. The answer depends on what he is referring to with the words “black worm.”
Author

1 Comment

  1. Mollie Tipton

    Can the Blackwood live under a cat’s skin. They move somewhat and these are located in the ears and around them sometimes the go around the eyes and attach themselves from the upper lid to the lower lid. They show a hair like very sharp needle on the opposite the host. They withdraw these when left alone. I really need help. I have seen three vets and they just tell me ears are like that normally.

Leave a Comment (but to submit a question please use the "Submit a Question" link above; we can't respond to questions posted as a comment)

Menu / Search

All About Worms