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Case Report: Evidence of Tungiasis in the Amazon Rain Forest of Ecuador

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  • 1 One Health Research Group, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad De Las Américas (UDLA), Quito, Ecuador;
  • | 2 Fundación Misión Cristiana de Salud, Shell, Pastaza, Ecuador,
  • | 3 Experimental Parasitology Unit, Department of Medical Microbiology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT.

Tungiasis occurs in tropical and subtropical areas in Central and South America and sub-Saharan Africa and is a Neglected Tropical Disease. We diagnosed three cases of tungiasis in a Dutch family visiting indigenous communities in the Amazon basin of Ecuador. Eight days after returning, they presented papular, pruritic, and painful lesions on the feet, with a whitish halo and a blackish central point with abundant whitish eggs upon extraction. For the first time, we demonstrate that Tunga spp. transmission is present in remote indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. It will be important to investigate the occurrence of tungiasis and associated morbidity among local inhabitants and consider prevention measures among locals and travelers to these areas.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Manuel Calvopiña, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad De Las Américas (UDLA), Quito, Ecuador. E-mail: manuel.calvopina@udla.edu.ec

Financial support: Foundation Latin Link Nederland and Dirección General de Investigación y Vinculación, Universidad De Las Américas (UDLA) Quito, Ecuador (Proyecto MED.MCH.19.08).

Authors’ addresses: Manuel Calvopiña, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad De Las Américas (UDLA), Quito, Ecuador, E-mail: manuel.calvopina@udla.edu.ec. Jacob Bezemer, Fundación Misión Cristiana de Salud, Shell, Pastaza, Ecuador, E-mail: j.m.bezemer@amc.uva.nl.

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