Zoonotic Brugia Infections in North and South America

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  • Department of Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana

Nine new zoonotic Brugia infections, 8 acquired in the United States and 1 in Brazil, are described. In each, a single worm was found in histological sections of lymph nodes or lymphoid tissues. In those from North America, 5 of the 8 worms were females, all were infertile, and only 3 were alive at the time the tissues were excised; all of the patients were male. A dead female worm was collected from a Brazilian male patient. In addition, 3 cases of filarial infections in the U.S., previously identified as Dirofilaria-, Dipetalonema-, or Brugia-like, are reviewed and reclassified as Brugia species on the basis of microscopic morphological features. Morphological features of male and female zoonotic Brugia species as they appear in the host tissues are described. The possible reservoirs of human infections are discussed.

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