A few days ago I discovered some creatures wriggling at the bottom of my toilet bowl. Naturally I freaked out and went to the doctor. Had a stool sample taken (results not back yet) and he put me on mebendazole.
I've been going through my faeces every day with a flashlight and haven't found anything in the actual faeces, but occasionally these creatures still show up at the bottom of the toilet.
Here are some photographs I took:
length is about 5-8mm.
They don't look like any intestinal worms I've seen on the web so I'm wondering if I've confused them with maggots coming from the toilet. Any parasite experts? Any help much appreciated.
Good photos. Look like segmented worms. Maggots do grow in feces but only if the feces had been left in the toilet for several hours. I have seen maggots in stool samples which had been left overnight. The third one from the left could have a 'mouth' where it might have been attached, sort of like a Tapeworm and the segments looke like tapeworm segments but these have a pointed tail, not like tapeworms, I would expect the segments to be broader as they matured. I'll look around the internet and see if I can find some segmented worms like these. Since your were on the med. and then these came out it does suggest that these forms were in you. I guess that if they were in your food they could have come through you undigested. Is your water from a shallow well or stream?
Segmented worms (phylum Annelida) are so named because of their elongated, more or less cylindrical bodies divided by grooves into a series of ringlike segments. Typically, the external grooves correspond to internal partitions called septa, which divide the internal body space into a series of compartments. Perhaps the most familiar examples of segmented worms are the common earthworms or night crawlers, and the freshwater leeches. Actually, the more numerous and typical members of the phylum are marine, crawling or hiding under rocks, or living in burrows, or in tubes, or in the sediment.There are approximately 15,000 living species of annelids, placed in three major classes: the Polychaeta (mostly marine), the Oligochaeta (mostly terrestrial), and the Hirudinea (mostly freshwater).
Polychaetes are either "errant"—moving and feeding actively, or "sedentary"—with a passive lifestyle. The basic body plan of an errant form is illustrated by the sandworm Nereis. The anterior end of Nereis is specialized to form a "head," possessing two pairs of eyes and several pairs of sensory appendages. The remainder of the body consists of a large number (100 or more) of similar segments, each with a pair of distinct lateral appendages called parapodia. The parapodium is muscular, highly mobile, and divided into two lobes, an upper, or dorsal, "notopodium," and a lower, or ventral "neuropodium." Each lobe bears a bundle of bristles, or setae. The setae, made of a substance called chitin, are used in crawling or in swimming. Nereis is a carnivore. Its food consists of small live organisms, or fragments of dead organisms, which it grasps by means of a pair of powerful jaws located at the tip of an eversible muscular pharynx. The food is ground up and digested as it passes through successive parts of the straight, tubular gut. The undigested residue is discarded through the anus located at the posterior end.
Most other body systems are arranged on a "segmental plan," which means that structures performing a particular body function are repeated in each segment. Thus, for excretion each segment contains a pair of coiled, ciliated tubes called nephridia. At one end the nephridial tube opens into the spacious cavity (called coelom) between the body wall and the gut; at the other end it opens to the outside. There is a well developed circulatory system. The blood, which is red in color due to the presence of hemoglobin, circulates in blood vessels. Gas exchange occurs between blood and sea water across the thin, leaf-like lobes of the parapodia.
Each body segment also has a pair of nerve ganglia and three or four pairs of nerves for receiving sensory input and coordinating muscular activity. Ganglia in successive segments are connected by means of a pair of longitudinal nerve cords, so that nerve impulses can be transmitted back and forth between each segment and the "cerebral ganglion" or "brain" located in the head. Sexes are separate, although no external characteristics distinguish males from females
Thanks for links I'll have a read through them but hmm.. still not really sure. I've been going through the faeces every day (not one of my favourite pastimes) but haven't seen anything in them, yet I've seen the creatures in the toilet bowl anywhere between just flushing and 24 hours after using the toilet.
Just like there are many different varieties of parasitic worm there must be many different kinds of fly larvae.
I haven't seen them for a couple of days now but not sure if that's due to the mebendazole or all the bleach I've been putting down the toilet.
QUOTE: "Aquatic larvae of flies. The free-living aquatic larvae of various flies breed in standing water, including toilets, leading to the misconception they came from stool or urine. The presence of prolegs, a head capsule, breathing tubes (arrow, Figure F), segmentation and/or setae will usually distinguish them from true parasitic worms."