Oct 14, 2010
A lovely little article appeared in this months International Journal of STD and AIDS (July 2010) written by Drs Samuel and Taylor from Kings College Hospital London.
They describe the case of a 56 year old man who had sex with other men and who complained of increased desire to pass urine, irritation in the urethra (the pipe that you wee through) and also pain on passing urine. All standard tests were negative but his symptoms persisted. Being a resourcefull fellow he collected his own urine and took it into clinic where a worm was found.
The "worm" was a 2 mm larva of a drain fly from the family Psychodidae which responded to appropriate treatment after successful identification at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Reference Laboratory.
Drs Samuel and Taylor describe the larva as preferring wet, decaying vegetation in drains, sewage plants and cesspools and drains in bathrooms and kitchens to breed and lay eggs. The larvae may rarely contaminate human orifices.
Poor personal hygiene were suggested as perhaps being relevant to the contamination by the worm with the patient apparently mentioning drainage problems in his flat and poor personal attention to cleanliness.
The prize for the most interesting odd article goes to Drs Samuel and Taylor! Patients should beware though that this is incredibly rare and is fascinating precisely because it is so very unusual.