Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Details of whipworm larvae colonising the gut revealed

17 July 2022

Catching the Worm

Caused by the whipworm parasite, the disease Trichuriasis is prevalent in tropical areas and affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, yet it’s often overlooked. A few treatments are available, but none are effective at complete eradication, so finding other treatment options is essential. One major obstacle to preventing this disease is that we don’t know what happens in the early stages of infection by this parasitic worm. Using their new organoid ‘mini gut’ model, researchers have discovered that whipworms degrade the mucus layers within our gut and create tunnels to access our cells. These tunnels are thought to provide shelter and a continuous source of nutrients so that the worm can persist in the gut. In this video, the worm, the host cells and the tunnels can finally be visualised. Finding ways to stop these worms tunnelling may pave the way to preventing this disease.

Written by Sophie Arthur

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.