Local professor featured on Animal Planet after pulling parasite from his mouth

Posted at 7:52 AM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 09:06:57-05

WILLIAMSBURG, Va -  William and Mary assistant biology professor Jonathan Allen has become a viral sensation thanks to a clip promoting his appearance on Animal Planet's show "Monsters Inside Me".  It had nearly six million views on YouTube as of Monday.

Back in 2013, Allen felt a rough patch roaming around his mouth for several months.  Once it moved near the front of his mouth, he used forceps to extract a three-quarter-inch long parasitic worm out of his own mouth.  He preserved it, took it a lab, and learned it was a nematode known as Gongylonema pulchrum.  It's a type of parasite more often found in livestock.  However, Allen said it can sneak into our food supply.

Allen's story gained the attention of the producers of Animal Planet's show "Monsters Inside Me" last year.  The nearly three-minute-long clip promoting Allen's episode in November has recently gone viral, racking up close to six million views.

You can watch Allen's story on "Episode 4: The Monster in my Mouth."