They find a living sea snail inside the skin of a child, first case in the medical literature

This is one of those unusual stories in medical literature. An 11-year-old boy who had a wound on the beach went to the doctor a week later. 

Apparently, the “blister” had not disappeared and was growing in size. The baby had a living snail inside the skin .

It happened on a beach in California, and as doctors have told, the boy had scraped his elbow in a puddle between rocks, very close to the sea. A week later, the wound was getting worse. The doctors examined him and found him well, he did not seem to have serious symptoms, but the inflammation in the wound was still very red and full of fluid.

This is how they discovered that under the pus there was a hard “object” about 4 millimeters in diameter: a sea snail, later identified as a Littorina scutulata, apparently still alive.

How could it survive the inflammation with pus? Apparently, it has something to do with its coastal habitat. According to Live Science :

The snail found. BMJ Case Reports

“These snails are herbivores and feed mainly on algae from rocks in high tide areas. As a result of living in this habitat, they are often exposed to air and have the ability to close on firm surfaces with their carapace and a sticky mucous membrane.

“This allows them to conserve water and moisture inside their carapace, thus preventing desiccation and suffocation. These characteristics make the snail a unique visitor in the human body and seems to have allowed this organism to survive despite the host’s extreme environment.”

The boy has already recovered and the case has become part of the medical literature records. By the way, the boy ” was visibly excited about the surprising discovery and asked to keep the specimen so that he could share the story with family and friends, ” the doctors in the study conclude.



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