Neotropical echinococcosis in Suriname: Echinococcus oligarthrus in the orbit and Echinococcus vogeli in the abdomen.

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  • 1 Laboratoire de Microbiologie-Parasitologie, Hôtel Dieu Hospital de Paris, France.
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This paper reports two cases of neotropical echinococcosis caused by Echinococcus oligarthrus and E. vogeli, neither of which has been reported from Suriname. Case 1, a six-year-old boy, presented a 15 x 25 mm retro-ocular cystic tumor (observed by ultrasound, computed tomography scan, and magnetic resonance imaging) causing exophthalmia, chemosis, palpebral ptosis, and blindness of the left eye. Of two tentative diagnoses, Echinococcus cyst or dermoid tumor, the former was shown to be correct at surgery when a clear liquid and detached protoscoleces were aspirated. Rostellar hooks of the protoscolex were characteristic of E. oligarthrus. Case 2, a 41-year-old man, had polycystic masses excised from the liver and abdomen. A presurgery diagnosis of E. vogeli infection was made due to calcifications seen in the lesions, positive serology, residence of the patient in the tropical forest, and later by the size and shape of rostellar hooks. The presence of these two parasites in one of the former Guianas is not surprising; both species are endemic in tropical forest in Central and South America wherever people have not exterminated wild canids, especially the bush dog, (Speothos venaticus), and felids (wild cats of several species), along with pacas, agoutis, and other rodents that serve as intermediate host of these two cestodes. Eighty-six cases of polycystic echinococcosis are known in people from 11 countries from Nicaragua to Argentina: 32 due to E. vogeli, three to E. oligarthrus, and 51 for which determination of the species was not possible because the hooks of the protoscolex were not found or described. Research to elucidate aspects of transmission of E. vogeli and E. oligarthrus is of practical importance for defining measures for preventing the severe and frequently fatal illnesses caused by these two cestodes.