Subconjunctival zoonotic onchocerciasis in man: Aberrant infection with Onchocerca lupi?

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26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the past few decades, 10 cases of cryptic, zoonotic onchocerciasis, including two subconjunctival infections, have been reported in man. In the majority of cases, Onchocerca cervicalis, O. gutturosa or O. dewittei, which normally infect horses, cattle and wild boar, respectively, were responsible for the lesions. However, the taxonomic status of the parasites involved in the two subconjunctival infections, both of which were European, has never been unambiguously determined. In such infections, the acute phase appears to be characterized by conjunctivitis. A single, strongly coiled, immature, female worm was found incorporated in a large granulomatous nodule, in the ocular and peri-ocular tissues, in the chronic stage of each of the two eye infections. Several, patent, sporadic cases of subconjunctival O. lupi infection have recently been reported in dogs. In terms of the location of the worms, clinical signs and histopathology, these canine infections were very similar to those seen in the two human patients with eye infection. When the parasites recovered from human eyes were compared morphologically with the Onchocerca spp. infecting animals in Europe, they appeared to be most similar to O. lupi. Although O. lupi is normally a parasite of dogs, it may thus also be responsible for aberrant, zoonotic, subconjunctival infections in man.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-502
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology
Volume96
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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Onchocerca
Onchocerciasis
Zoonoses
Eye Infections
Infection
Parasites
Dogs
Sus scrofa
Conjunctivitis
Horses
Canidae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology

Cite this

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title = "Subconjunctival zoonotic onchocerciasis in man: Aberrant infection with Onchocerca lupi?",
abstract = "In the past few decades, 10 cases of cryptic, zoonotic onchocerciasis, including two subconjunctival infections, have been reported in man. In the majority of cases, Onchocerca cervicalis, O. gutturosa or O. dewittei, which normally infect horses, cattle and wild boar, respectively, were responsible for the lesions. However, the taxonomic status of the parasites involved in the two subconjunctival infections, both of which were European, has never been unambiguously determined. In such infections, the acute phase appears to be characterized by conjunctivitis. A single, strongly coiled, immature, female worm was found incorporated in a large granulomatous nodule, in the ocular and peri-ocular tissues, in the chronic stage of each of the two eye infections. Several, patent, sporadic cases of subconjunctival O. lupi infection have recently been reported in dogs. In terms of the location of the worms, clinical signs and histopathology, these canine infections were very similar to those seen in the two human patients with eye infection. When the parasites recovered from human eyes were compared morphologically with the Onchocerca spp. infecting animals in Europe, they appeared to be most similar to O. lupi. Although O. lupi is normally a parasite of dogs, it may thus also be responsible for aberrant, zoonotic, subconjunctival infections in man.",
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