07 November 2006

Ultra Special Blah Blah Blah #1 - Interview with a Nematode (a real dracula)

Once again I am actively avoiding studying...so in order to justify not studying worms, i'm going to blog about them instead? Bien? bien!

First on my list is Mr. Haemonchus placei! Welcome Mr. Haemonchus. First interview question:

1. Where are you from and what is your favorite food?

"Well, Crazy Little Monkey, I am a nematode of the cattle abomasum. I'm a voracious bloodsucker - can't seem to get enough of the stuff. Haha, my close relatives, Haemonchus contortus, can suck in 1/4 of of their sheep host's blood a day. I'm not near that much of a pig though. Oh and if an infection progresses slowly enough, I'll adapt to the blood supply. Supply and demand, you know?"


2. Wow..um. That's fascinating. So how does your living arrangement respond to your voracious appetite for blood?

"As you know, blood is important for keeping excess fluid out of tissues. My hosts tend to form what's called a bottle jaw, where water collects around the jaw because I upset the balance. Additionally, water collects in the thoracic cavity (hydrothorax/ascites). Not to mention the severe anemia H. contortus causes in sheep. Well what can you do? A worms gotta live - gotta eat to live."

3. Hmm...do you and Mrs. Haemonchus placei see any children in the near future?

"As a matter of fact, she has about 7,500 ova per day. Imagine scrapbooking all that!"

4. Whoa! Fecund little couple aren't you! Now, I've heard it said that some interesting phenomena occur with you. could you elaborate on that?

"Ah, I suppose you're talking about Self-cure, post-parturient rise, and spring rise. The first, self-cure, is a rather unpleasant event that occurs when essentially an a reagenic antibody (IGE allergic response) attachese to mast cells. Mast cells = a bomb of vasoactive amines that cause vasodilation and cause the abmosum mucosa to loose its structural integrity....Unfortunately when that happens, we abomasal worms get flushed from our home. Post-parturient rise refers simply to the fact that we're stimulated by prolactin. That is when we sense prolactin in a ewe we increase fecundity. Spring rise - well let's just say we like the spring...and actually inhibit growth during the winter. So when we become active in the spring, the new generation is right there with us. Great to meet your kids, eh?"

5. Very interesting! So what makes you so darn resistant and successful?

"I have more DNA delegated to resistance than any other nematode. This gives me a fantastic advantage. As a larva, I was extremely active..it's been said 'if worms were racecars, you'd want Haemonchus to be your car.' A long generation time (7 months) and great fecunditiy means a longer exposure to your sorry drugs and more resilient offspring."

Wow. Well that's all the time we have for today. Good luck this winter. I know you don't like the cold. Thank you for your time. This has been a Crazy Little Monkey report.


Oh yeah...who's a winner? Crazy Little Monkey ( = Dork)!!!

1 comment:

Megann said...

You ARE a dork...