Visiting Extern: Sarah Macomber-Bouton

Image of Sarah Macomber-Bouton

During the month of October the Verocai lab hosted 4th year veterinary student Sarah Macomber-Bouton. Sarah plans to join a mixed animal practice once she graduates in May, but wanted to get a deeper insight into the world of Parasitology! Sarah submitted the following statement about her experience here in the Verocai lab.

“I am a 4th year from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) and visiting the lab for my Public/Corporate rotation to learn more about Parasitology in the academic and diagnostic setting. I am planning to graduate in May of 2024 and return to the Brazos Valley to work as a mixed animal practioner. I also want to integrate parasitology into the practice I work at, in order to improve client knowledge and compliance, as well as spread public health awareness.

I really enjoyed my time here. Everyone is so passionate about Parasitology and the work they are doing. If you have questions or specific interests, they will do their best to answer or show you what you need. I definitely left with more knowledge than I started and feel more comfortable with the parasites, and the tests performed, that may come up in my future as a clinician.”

Happy Halloween! Some scary new papers!

At the Verocai Lab, one of our favorite holidays is Halloween because we get to talk about all the frightening (and cool) parasites that are out there. To celebrate, we have two new papers to pique your interest and give you chills!

The first paper is about Angiostrongylus cantonensis, or the rat lungworm. This is the first time that rat lungworm has been found in the state of Georgia and this is scary important news! The parasite causes a eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, which means that humans or other mammals may experience clinical signs similar to bacterial meningitis (e.g., nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, and headaches). However, in rare cases, more severe signs can be apparent, which makes this parasite quite a fright. Read more about our published collaboration and how this story is making national news!

Angiostrongylus cantonensis Infection in Brown Rats (Rattus norvegicus), Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2019–2022

Parasitic Brain Worm Spreading Across Southeastern U.S., Scientists Warn

Parasitic, Invasive Worm Found in Rats in Georgia

Worm that jumps from rats to human brains invades southeastern US

The second paper is about Spirocerca lupi, a parasite of dogs and wild canids that has the potential to cause esophageal nodules that can ultimately transform to neoplastic lesions (!). Read more about how the Verocai Lab and colleagues are trying to tease apart the geographic diversity of this important canid parasite.

Elucidating Spirocerca lupi spread in the Americas by using phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses

Happy Halloween Parasite Friends!