Historical Note on Loa Loa: a Reinterpretation

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  • Universitätsaugenklinik (Dir.: Prof. Dr. H. Pau), Moorenstrasse 5, 4 Düsseldorf, Germany

Loa loa, also known as the African eye worm, is a common parasite in the central part of West Africa. As Chrysops silacea and C. dimidiata, the only important vectors of loaiasis, are found exclusively in the tropical rain forests of West Africa, the parasite's transmission is confined to this region. References by early writers to the extraction of Loa loa from the eye of a man on the Island of Ormus (today known as Hormuz or Hormus) in the Persian Gulf apparently were based on a misinterpretation of an illustration by de Bry (1598) of the blinding of a royal relative.