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This Week in Parasitism (TWiP) is a podcast about eukaryotic parasites started by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier. Daniel Griffin, MD joined the team in January 2015 and added not only his expertise in infectious diseases, but began a new feature of TWiP, the case study. Each week Daniel presents the symptoms and signs of an interesting case that he has investigated during his work, without identifying the infectious agent. Listeners are encouraged to send in their guesses to this weekly infectious disease mystery. We call this new change 'TWiP reboot'.
The TWiP trio strives for an informal yet informative conversation about parasites which is accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background. As science Professors at Columbia University, Dickson and Vincent have directed research laboratories focused on parasites and viruses. Their enthusiasm for teaching inspired them to reach beyond the classroom with new media. TWiP is for everyone who wants to learn about parasites in a relaxing way.
Music used on TWiP is composed and performed by Ronald Jenkees and used with permission.
The paratenic hosts reveal a case of scabies in the Traveling Salesman, and discuss a role for natural antibody in protection from infection with Plasmodium.
Download TWiP #97 (63 MB .mp3, 87 minutes).
Case study for TWiP 97
Daniel has two cases this week. Two people with similar presentations. A 12 yo girl in Peru presented for care with painless dark brown area on right knee. Has brothers and sisters, often play together. No trauma, but area is expanding. Months later develops cognitive changes. Second case is a 5 yo boy from the coastal region of Peru brought in by Mother, has red swollen area on face. Mom says while playing scratched nose, swelling right cheek, eye, nasal obstruction, no response to antibiotics. MRI of both show infiltrating process. Girl, left side of brain, middle cerebral artery territory. Boy in frontal region, midline area. Thus both skin lesions associated with infiltrating process in brain. Came into clinic months after lesions started, and lesions still present.
The TWiPanosomes solve the case about the Young Woman who Went to Belize, and relate how sandfly saliva skews the immune response and increases risk of cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Download TWiP #96 (76 MB .mp3, 104 minutes).
Case study for TWiP 96
Daniel's patient for this week is male patient referred for consultation by OB-GYN: his wife is pregnant, has been admitted and is about the give birth. It is her first pregnancy. There are concerns about the husband's skin problem and whether it is a threat to his pregnant wife. No lesions on woman, husband recently developed itchy skin problem on his hands. Bilateral. Small papules on webs of fingers, brown lines, blood clots at ends, has clearly scratched the lesions. Skin between fingers is involved. Travels, often stays in cheap hotels. Beds not clean. Last trip 1 month before symptoms. Midwest travel. Family history of heart disease. Sales occupation. No animal exposure. Travels to medium to large cities.
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel solve the case about the 33 year old Chinese male with watery diarrhea, and discuss whether arsenic in drinking water might lead to treatment failures for Leishmania infections.
Download TWiP #95 (77 MB .mp3, 105 minutes).
This episode is sponsored by ASMGAP.
Daniel's patient for this week is a 28 yo single female, returns from beach vacation with new boyfriend. Two weeks in Central America (Belize). Often found secluded beaches. Good health, noticed upon her return had small nodules/papules on front of thighs. Thought were insect bites, became very itchy. Noticed serpiginous red lines forming, radiating out from bumps. Felt things moving in her skin. Benadryl did not help. Daniel say something similar occurs in Lima. Healthy, no allergies, surgeries, no relevant family history, using barrier contraception, sexually active. Only drinks alcohol socially. Boyfriend did not report symptoms. She did lie on sand, used thin fabric. Stayed in hotel. There were wild dogs on beach. During her stay she ate ceviche. No intestinal symptoms.
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel solve the case about the man from El Salvador, and discuss the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors to treat onchocerciasis and filariasis.
Download TWiP #94 (74 MB .mp3, 102 minutes).
Daniel's patient was seen in the clinic. He is a 33 yo chinese male, from Chinatown NYC, for several months on and off has had watery diarrhea, headaches. Tried reflexology, chiropractic therapy, with no results. Has traveled quite a bit, been in Chile (was there a few months before). Came to US when young. Grew up in the US. In Chile, has had many sexual partners, >50, of both sexes, also has done many drugs. Two years ago was diagnosed with chronic HIV, CD4 count 685, on ARVs triple therapy, virus loads are well controlled. Has had syphilis, nose job, no medication allergies. Lives with family. On exam, afebrile, looks well. Symptom onset a few months after last Chile visit. Is an adventurous eater.
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel solve their fishy tale, and present a new case study for your consumption.
Download TWiP #93 (65 MB .mp3, 89 minutes).
April 2015 a 177 lb 5ft10in 39 yo man seen as outpatient in ID clinic, reports 2 y ago had issues with constipation on and off; throat hurts; feels closing when lies down. For several years has had skin irritation on upper chest and arms. Tried to donate blood, was rejected, told to see doctor.
Emigrated to US from El Salvador 2002, married, reports no extramarital sex, smokes 2-3 cigs/day, now quit; had drinking issue in past, no more; was agricultural worker in rural part of El Salvador; has history of asthma, on a number of medicines, including steriod nasal spray, inhaler, no visual problems, healthy appearing, not allergic to medicines. Family history: mother heart attack and diabetes; father peptic ulcer disease.
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel discuss how fluctuation in the price of guinea pig food could help transmission of the agent of Chagas disease, and present a new case study for your consumption.
Download TWiP #92 (73 MB .mp3, 100 minutes).
A 20 yo Japanese female student went to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain. nausea, had vomited. Had just enjoyed homemade sushi an hour or two previuosly. She prepared the sushi: rice, salmon, tuna rolls. Salmon was local, caught by boyfriend. Tuna from store, sushi grade. No past medical history, mother with anemia. Takes oral contraceptives. No toxic habits. No travel. Monogamous. Temp 100.2, bp 140/90, hr high 90s, breathing upper teens. Physical exam normal except appears distressed in pain, belly extended, tender in left upper quadrant. Friends ate sushi but no one else got sick. All guests ate both types of fish.
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel review how Viagra might be used to block transmission of Plasmodium falciparum, and introduce a new case study.
Download TWiP #91 (65 MB .mp3, 89 minutes).
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel discuss identification of an erythrocyte protein essential for invasion of Plasmodium falciparum, and introduce a new case study.
Download TWiP #90 (88 MB .mp3, 121 minutes).
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel reveal last week's case study and introduce a new one concerning a patient who traveled to Belize.
Download TWiP #89 (68 MB .mp3, 94 minutes).
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel discuss how a secreted protein from the protozoan parasite Theileria transforms its host cells via a cellular proto-oncogene.
Download TWiP #88 (82 MB .mp3, 114 minutes).