Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Hookworm Basic Research+ Initial Ideas and Thoughts

Hookworm Research
Hookworms are a parasitic nematode (roundworm) that lives in the small intestine of its host whether that be human, cat, dog or any other mammal. There are a few different species of Hookworm that infect different hosts, or more specifically only infect one type of host, except for rare occurrences where they have infected an uncommon host.

Three species infect Humans:

  • Ancylostoma Duodenale which is commonly found in the Middle east, North Africa, India and formally Southern Europe.
  • Necator Americanus which is commonly found in the America's, Sub Saharan Africa, South east Asia, China and Indonesia.
  • Stronyloides Stercoralis
Species that infect Cats:

  • A. Braziliense
  • A.Tubaeforme
Species that infect Dogs
  • A.Caninum
A Caninum has infected humans in the past, with 150 cases reported in Australia from 1988-1992.

Hookworms live in the small intestine. Hookworm eggs are passed in the feces of an infected person. If the infected person defecates outside (near bushes, in a garden, or field) of if the feces of an infected person are used as fertilizer, eggs are deposited on soil. They can then mature and hatch, releasing larvae (immature worms). The larvae mature into a form that can penetrate the skin of humans. Hookworm infection is mainly acquired by walking barefoot on contaminated soil. One kind of hookworm can also be transmitted through the ingestion of larvae.
Most people infected with hookworms have no symptoms. Some have gastrointestinal symptoms, especially persons who are infected for the first time. The most serious effects of hookworm infection are blood loss leading to anemia, in addition to protein loss. Hookworm infections are treatable with medication prescribed by your health care provider.
Life cycle of hookworm

he most serious effects of hookworm infection are the development of anemia and protein deficiency caused by blood loss at the site of the intestinal attachment of the adult worms. When children are continuously infected by many worms, the loss of iron and protein can retard growth and mental development.

Initial Ideas
Unlike Malaria I feel that this parasite could be taken down a more comedic route, as I don't feel that is is as dark a topic as the other things that we can choose. While the Hookworm is not a nice thing to have, it isnt going to be the end of the world if you are infected with one and it can be treated.

My initial thought for an animation based on this Parasite is a character based one. Where you follow the life of one worm as it grows and deals with its own life cycle. Informative narration mixed with funny imagery or just plain comedic.

If you have seen the video game: The Stanley Parable (Go and play it, it's amazing) I kind of want to have the narration be like that. Reacting to what the worm does during his life with some cynicism and comedy based lines thrown in. 

The Stanley Parable example 

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