Parasitology Clonorchis Sinensis Term Paper

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Biology

Life is Great: "A Day in the Life of Clonorchis Sinensis"

The purpose of this paper is to introduce and analyze the topic of biology. Specifically it will contain a creative account of clonorchis sinensis (the Chinese liver fluke). Chinese liver flukes are extremely common worm parasites that live in the bodies of their hosts, often humans. One journal notes the parasite causes "hepatobiliary disease and is prevalent in Asian countries. It has been reported that more than 7 million people are infected with this parasite worldwide. Humans are infected with the parasite by eating raw freshwater fishes or by consuming dried, salted, smoked, or pickled freshwater fishes" that contain the flukes (Zhao, et al. 2004, 811).

Ah, it's another beautiful day in my neighborhood! How do I know? I don't have eyes, but I don't need them here, nestled in the bile ducts of my human host. All I need is right here with me, lots of tissue to feed on, like membranes and blood cells, and plenty of water to help me create my eggs. Ah, life is good when you're a clonorchis sinensis, or Chinese Liver Fluke, because you're incognito, no one knows you're home, and you have everything you need to survive! I can live right here for eight, and sometimes up to twenty years (if my human lives that long, but more on that later), you know, without my host ever figuring out I'm here, what could be better than that? So, how did I end up here, in this Asian adult host, living the free and easy life of a fluke? Well, it's a long story.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Parasitology Clonorchis Sinensis Assignment

I don't remember dear old mom and dad, that's because dear old mom and dad were one in the same. See, us Chinese liver flukes are asexual, and we can reproduce without a partner. How's that for biological diversity? Anyway, I started out as a tiny egg, one of thousands, that mom/dad laid in the bile duct of their human host. One day, my host went to the bathroom, and my brothers, sisters and I ended up sailing out of our human into a flowing stream, where we floated in our embryonic egg stage until the perfect new host came by, a river snail, who happily ate us for breakfast. Since we can live in water several weeks without hatching, we just bided our time until that perfect snail came along and snatched us up. I ended up in the snail's body tissues, the perfect place for me to hatch and begin to grow. I started to become a teenager here, where I lost my cilia and turned into my second larval stage, what some biologists like to call a "hollow sporocyst." Inside myself, my sporocyst is changing into clumps of cells that will become an embryonic mass that will eventually become my third larval stage. Now, I have a nervous system, gut, and a way to excrete my wastes, and many other cells. Oh, now they call me a redia, and I can move around, which means it's time for me to head on over to the snail's digestive gland, where I can get a good hold on life. In fact, now, I can create many different cercariae, which are organisms that look a little like a tadpole and can swim around inside the digestive gland. Have you figured out that I am asexual, and just "gave birth" to numerous organisms all by myself? Life is good so far!!

Well, it's time for me to leave my snail host. I'm one of the tadpole-like organisms, and now I'm ready to leave my intermediate host and find another. A fish of the carp family (or another freshwater fish) is just right for my needs, so here I go! I'm ready to bore fight into the body of this fish. Then I'll lose my tail, and form a cyst called a metacercariae. I'll stick around inside this fish until the fish dies, but if the fish is caught and consumed by a human, I'm really in luck!!! My favorite place to spend my adult life is inside the liver or bile duct of a human, and if they eat the fish raw, undercooked, salted, pickled, or smoked, then I'll be home free. Oh, if another mammal eats me, the same thing happens, too. Which is, or course, that my cyst walls will dissolve inside the intestine of my new human best friend, and I'll develop into the adult fluke you know and love. Oh, and I'll have my very own reproductive system, which means that I can send thousands, maybe even millions of little larvae out into the world to start the cycle all over again. Ah, such a successful life! Hey, I can live here for years, and most human hosts (scientists call them "primary" hosts), don't even know I'm around, unless I get a little too carried away and destruct too much of my liver home. In that case, my host will die, and take me right along to the grave. While I'm hanging around, I can cause a variety of other ailments, and some scientists think I'm a major cause of liver cancer and disease in Asia, but hey, that's the next chapter in my story.

Why am I such a big deal, you might ask? Well, I may be small, but my results are mighty. See, I feed on the tissues of my host, oh, and I like bile, too. I think it's yummy, and can't seem to get enough. Anyway, I have this sucker thing around my mouth that helps me attach very firmly to the lining of the bile ducts and keep me from floating away and out of my host. I'm not going anywhere fast.

OK, so, I'm hanging around, eating a lot, and what does that mean for my human host? Well, scientists think it means quite a lot. See, studies show that liver cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Korea and many other Asian nations, and a lot of researchers think it's all because of little old me. Cholangiocarcinoma is one of the most common liver cancers in Korea, and "Cholangiocarcinoma is known to be associated with heavy infestation by Clonorchis sinensis" (Shin, et al. 1998, 933). Yep, that's right, little old me seems to be responsible for a lot of this liver cancer. Of course, there are other causes, too, like a family history of liver disease and even alcohol consumption, but I'm right up there with those (Shin, et al. 1998, 937). See, I'm extremely prevalent throughout Asia, and I live in a lot of humans and animals there, so it's really easy for me to propagate out of control, and just make life miserable for a lot of my human hosts.

Oh, and I am really hard to get rid of, too! I like life in my bile duct, and I'm really resistant to things that might kill a lesser worm, like cold, heat, and stuff like that. See what another scientist says about me:

Metacercariae from freshwater fish stored at

12°C for 10-18 days or

20°C for 3-7 days remained viable and infective. Moreover, those kept at the heavy salt concentration for 5-7 days remained viable and infective. These findings indicate that freezing or storing infected freshwater fish in heavy salt may not be effective in the prevention of clonorchiasis. However, it appears that refrigeration, or keeping the fish in salt for longer periods, may be suitable for prevention of the infection (Fan 1998, 603).

See, it's hard to get rid of little old me, which is why I'm so important medically and environmentally. on, and if that's not enough, most people don't know about me, or really don't take me too seriously. See what another group of scientists has to say about that: "Of 1,521 people interviewed, 64% of the interviewees did not know about fluke disease or its transmission route, 46% of those who knew about the fluke believed that the infection caused no harm or only slight harm to their health" (Lin et al. 2005, 1114). So, some of you might say ignorance is bliss, but in this case, it's not. I just hang around a lot longer than necessary, and once I'm home - well, eviction doesn't seem to work very well. Are you impressed yet? I think you should be, I'm pretty impressed myself!

Wait, you followed my life cycle, but it's still morning in my day, and I'm ready for a full day of feeding, laying around, oh, and keeping up the family tree, you know how important that can be! OK, I've already awake and ready for breakfast. I think I'll try a little bile and mucous from inside my duct. There's bile left over from last night's dinner, and there's always plenty of mucous to go around. Um, that was tasty, but I'm still hungry, I think I'll have a little more… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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