Visceral Larva Migrans in Malaya

Report of a Case

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  • Department of Parasitology, Tulane University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, New Orleans, Louisiana, Malaysia

Visceral larva migrans, widely reported elsewhere, has not been reported in Malaya, though it was suspected in children with persistent hypereosinophilia of unproved etiology in Singapore. Earlier surveys of helminths in dogs and cats in West Malaysia and Singapore showed a high prevalence of Toxocara infection in these animals. In the present study persistent hypereosinophilia, hyperglobulinemia and epidemiological considerations led to a presumptive diagnosis of visceral larva migrans in a 2-year-old boy and this was confirmed by finding a larva of T. canis in a liver biopsy. Visceral larva migrans therefore does occur in Malaya. Its recognition in this region where eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia) is also common indicates that visceral larva migrans will need to be considered in the differential diagnosis of persistent hypereosinophilia, especially in children.

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