TWiP v3 275

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About Vincent




This Week in Parasitism

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 case of the Man from Assam is solved, and phagocytosis of Leishmania by B-1 cells is brought to you by the Three Twipeteers on this episode of TWiP.

The TWiPtastic trio solves the case of the Surfer from Switzerland, and reveal how taste-chemosensory tuft cells in the gut regulate immune responses to parasites.

The TWiP triumvirate solves the case of the Missionary in Kenya, and review the finding of a soldier caste in flatworms that parasitize snails.

Saturday, 12 March 2016 10:58

Survival of the fattest - TWiP 105

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The TWiPanosomes solve the case of the Young Man from Anchorage, and discuss how cestode parasites increase the resistance of brine shrimp to arsenic toxicity.

Saturday, 27 February 2016 09:18

La maladie du sommeil - TWiP 104

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Michael returns to help the TWiP trio solve the case of the Delusional African Expatriate, who then discuss the association of natural and induced antibodies in mice with differential susceptibility to secondary cystic echinococcosis.

Saturday, 13 February 2016 10:53

Scroll down, please - TWiP 103

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The TWiP-scholars solve the case of the Housewife from Kolkata, discuss mutations in the IL17 gene associated with cerebral malaria, and hear a case presentation from guest Michael Libman.

Saturday, 06 February 2016 12:49

Nursing eosinophils - TWiP 102

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The TWiPyzoites solve the case of the Uncommon Parasite, and discuss the role of eosinophils in promoting the growth of Trichinella in skeletal muscle.

Saturday, 23 January 2016 09:32

TWiP 101: Is it round or is it flat?

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The doctors TWiP solve the case of the Woman with White Worms, and explore the role of a secreted growth factor from a carcinogenic parasite in wound healing and angiogenesis.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson Despommier, and Daniel Griffin

 Download TWiP #101 (84 MB .mp3, 111 minutes)

Subscribe to TWiP (free) in iTunes, by the RSS feed or by email

Links for this episode:Opisthorchis viverrini 3

Listener Pick

Ramon - Ancient Rome was infested with parasites

Case study for TWiP 101

This week's case involves an uncommon parasite. Young girl, <10 y, brought in by parents from rural area to regional hospital with fever, diarrhea for 2 weeks. No blood in stool. Parents: few weeks prior to problems, young girls went with family on wild pig hunting trip. With guns. Girl did consume pig on trip, all meat was very well cooked. Was involved with preparation of meat with Mother only. No one else got sick. No surgery, no allergies. Both parents have diabetes. Has four brothers. Some weight loss. This is outside the US. Physical exam: low grade fever, diffuse mild abdominal discomfort, slight microcytic anemia, size of cells is slightly smaller than normal. WBC: normal, except no eosinophils. Blood cultures negative. Stool examination is where we get our answer.

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Saturday, 09 January 2016 12:28

TWiP 100: Driving past a milestone

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The TWiP trifecta solves the case of the Woman from Bolivia with Belly Pain, and discuss a method for population modification of malaria mosquitoes using a Cas9-mediated driver gene.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson Despommier, and Daniel Griffin

Download TWiP #100 (85 MB .mp3, 113 minutes)

Subscribe to TWiP (free) in iTunes, by the RSS feed or by email

Links for this episode:Screenshot 2016-01-09 11.56.31

Case study for TWiP 100

This week's case is a 27 yo female, native NY, referred to outpatient at CU after seeing OBGYN, told had seen worms in stool and underwear. Inch or two in length, pale white, round, moving, 2-3 weeks of constant abdominal bloating. Sexually active. No particular diet. Travel: works for NGO, refugee camp in Ethiopian-Sudan border, southern Sudan. Last visit month ago. Noticed worms when she got back from last trip. Eats what local people eat. Raw food popular there: kitfo, raw steak tartare, with melted butter. Made from local beef. Did not take malaria prophylaxis, did not avoid local water, does wear sandals. College graduate. Nothing remarkable in family. CBC, liver, metabolic: all normal. Stool not normal: loose, no mucus or blood.

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Saturday, 05 December 2015 14:58

TWiP 99: You get your polar bear from your nana

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The TWiP trifecta solves the case of the Professor Who Went to Brazil, and discuss an amazing case of a tapeworm that turned into a tumor in an AIDS patient.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson Despommier, and Daniel Griffin

Download TWiP #99 (72 MB .mp3, 100 minutes).

Links for this episode:H nana adultF

Case study for TWiP 99

This week's case is a 53 yo woman visiting family in US, comes in with intense belly pain, right upper part of belly. Has become strict vegetarian after having breast cancer, on raw vegetable diet (carrots, collect plants in local markets). From Bolivia. Lives in agricultural area, avoids sheep, fearful of dogs. Housekeeper. Married, lives with husband. Noticed pain when came to US. Breast cancer: localized, removed lesion, no therapy, months ago. No allergies, family healthy. No insect bites, lives in concrete house. Physical exam: not febrile, right upper quadrant is very tender, some liver enlargement. CBC: 10,000 white count, mostly eosinophils, liver function: AST, ALT, AlkPhos all normal. Neuro exam: normal. Five months before this diet, she did have normal diet. Some meat, drank milk.

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Send your questions and comments (email or mp3 file) to


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TWiP is a MicrobeTV production