Parasite is an organism whose life always depends on other organisms to get food, take shelter, and mean other things. It is detrimental and smaller in size and shape compared to its host.
In general, the presence of parasites in a host will harm and reduce host productivity. Because besides riding a place to stay, parasites also get nutrients and food extracts from the host’s body. Things like this will cause the host’s body to experience malnutrition which will affect his body’s metabolism. However, you must be aware of the following types of common parasites in Bali.
- Toxoplasma gondii
Toxoplasma gondii is a single cell parasite (protozoa) which can infect almost all warm-blooded mammals. Its life cycle usually occurs between cats and rodents. It comes in most countries as one of the most protozoan parasites that attack humans. The rate of infection in humans varies between 10-80 percent of the population in various parts of the world and parasites usually remain inactive in the tissues during the life span of the host.
Most infected people have no symptoms and never know they are infected. The most serious problems arise in pregnant women because parasites can cross the placenta and cause fetal abnormalities or even miscarriages, which is why it is recommended for them to avoid cleaning cat litter.
- Taenia solium
T.solium, also known as pork tapeworm, reaches 10 meters in size as an adult. This parasite is one of the largest tapeworms to infect humans. Given that Babi Guling is a food from Bali, you should be careful.
This parasite comes from larval cysts on pig’s boiled half-cooked pork. Many cases are encountered, these parasites nest in your stomach and suck your nutrition. The serious impact on these parasites is to attack the central nerve (neurocysticercosis) and the main cause of epilepsy.
- Trichinella spiralis
Trichinella spiralis, is a roundworm that comes from consumption of raw or undercooked pork, can also be smoked pork. Therefore, you should be careful when consuming Babi Guling or Pork Lilit Babi in Bali.
This parasite causes muscle infections. Initially worms in meat are larvae that are invisible because they are too small. Then the larvae will multiply in the intestine. Adult worms will migrate looking for muscles and gnawing at them.
Opisthorchiidae is a family of flatworms that are often found in Southeast Asia, especially Bali (although some species are also present in Europe and Russia). Usually the contamination comes from raw or undercooked infected freshwater fish. In the fish’s stomach, Opisthorchiidae are larval and invisible. But when it enters into human digestion, these larvae will quickly multiply and become adult worms.
Today’s worms like nesting in the gallbladder and bile. Then produce eggs that are excreted in faeces in the form of larvae. The larvae will survive until they meet the flow of water. This parasite is usually spread through animals that soak or carry the larvae from water.
- Ascaris spp.
This is the largest type of parasite and lives in human digestion. The size can reach 35cm. WHO data states that 25 percent of people in the world have been infected.
The eggs can hatch into larvae in the intestine and migrate through the blood to the lungs, then migrate to the respiratory tract to the throat until swallowed into the stomach and back into the intestine again. Every female worm produces hundreds of thousands of eggs per day which are excreted in feces.
- Entamoeba histolytica
This disease is characterized by bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain which causes death. More severe problems can occur if the parasite starts to spread from the intestine out into the body, causing abscesses in the liver and other organs.
- Echinococcus granulosus
Another type of tapeworm is Echinococcus granulosus (EG). Although the length is only 3-7mm, this worm causes cystic echinococcosis (CE) disease which migrates in the liver and causes serious damage.
EG has a life cycle between carnivores (usually dogs), and sheep or other livestock. Humans are infected by ingesting eggs accidentally from dog feces, either through contaminated food products or from direct contact, or contaminated soil. Worm eggs are strong enough and can survive in the stomach for months, even in freezing temperatures.
- Cryptosporidium spp
These protozoan parasites are mainly transmitted through contaminated water or food washed in contaminated water.
Sari and unpasteurized milk, and contaminated shells have been involved in several outbreaks. Parasites are present all over the world, including the UK, and infections are often caused by contamination from the water of infected animals. In healthy individuals this disease causes severe diarrhea.
- Trypanosoma cruzi
T.cruzi is a protozoa parasite that causes a disease called Chagas. This disease is characterized by slow development where parasites infect various cells and organs in the body, including the heart, for years.
Often infections occur without symptoms, until they appear as fatal infections of the intestine and heart. This infection is usually transmitted through contact with triatomin beetle stool (insect kiss). This beetle will contaminate humans through the bite of the bite that is buried by their feces. T.cruzi is on the top ten list because recently it was discovered that humans can be infected only by eating food contaminated with these insect feces.
- Anisakis sp
Dozens of white worms shaped like thin fibers are found in three canned sardines circulating in Indonesia some time ago. After going through laboratory tests discussed by a number of experts, the worms found in Chinese imported food products are not tapeworms but parasites of Anisakis sp.
This parasite is a type that can cause problems in fish to humans, so that if consumed without cooking, or in a half-cooked state, it will cause disease. The worm is found in a can of mackerel fish is dead. So it’s not due to packaging damage or due to expiration.
Those are the kinds of parasites that you can possibly find in Bali. Always keep clean of your body, foods, and place where you stay to avoid these parasites enter your body.