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CASE REPORT: GNATHOSTOMIASIS IN TWO TRAVELERS TO ZAMBIA

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  • 1 Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, University of the Witwatersrand and the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

Gnathostomiasis is a systemic infection caused by migrating nematode larvae of the genus Gnathostoma. It is a zoonosis involving a wide variety of animals as intermediate and definitive hosts, and consumption of raw fish is the main risk factor. The condition is most commonly seen in southeastern Asia, but has been described in a number of other countries, all outside Africa. We report the infection in two travelers returning from southcentral Africa, who presented with non-specific symptoms and marked eosinophilia, and in whom schistosomiasis was initially suspected. The typical migratory skin lesions of gnathostomiasis appeared later. The infections responded well to albendazole. The patients acquired the infection in western Zambia; this region of Africa appears to be a newly identified risk area for gnathostomiasis in tourists who indulge in eating raw freshwater fish.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: DeVon C. Hale, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Utah, 30 North 1900 East, Room 4B319, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2405.
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