HISTORY OF DISCOVERY:

The Guinea Worm has affected humans since antiquity and various documentation has been found.
- It is believed the “fiery serpent” mentioned in the Old Testament is referred to the Guinea worm
- Several Egyptian texts suggested the disease was common during the Exodus (middle of 2nd millenium B.C)
- First physical evidence was a calcified male Guinea worm found in Egyptian mummy from New Kingdom period
- There was an allusion to the worm in a Sanskrit poem from the 14th century B.C.
- A text found in Nineveh indicated that the disease was brought to Mesopotamia from Egyptian prisoners during the early part of the 7th century B.C.
- 19th century Arab-Persion described the disease in great detail and named it “Medina vein”

Author unknown, (2003). Dracunculiasis: Important Dates. www.who,int/ctd/dates Retrieved April 27. 2003.


- In the Middle Ages through the 13th century could not agree on the disease’s nature. They thought it could be anything from exposed nerves to dead tissue. It took the name Guinea worm because a traveller described its prevalence in the Gulf of Guinea
- Carlus Linnaeus was the first one to suggest that they were worms
- Alesej Pavlovich Fedchenko in 1870 made the important discovery of Cyclops as the intermediary host
- The life cycle of the Guinea worm was determined by Robert Leiper in 1905 and Dyneshvar Turkhud in 1913 (1)

 


 

References

(1) Author unknown, (2003). Dracunculiasis: Important Dates. www.who.int/ctd/dates Retrieved April 27, 2003.