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Three Cases of Intestinal Capillariasis in Lao People’s Democratic Republic

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  • 1 Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland; National Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Institut de la Francophonie pour la Médicine Tropicale, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Department of Internal Medicine, Setthathirath Hospital, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Department of Infectious Medicine, Mahosot Hospital, Ministry of Health, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Department of Parasitology, University of Health Sciences, Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Capillaria philippinensis is a rare zoonotic intestinal parasite that emerged in the 1960s. The outcome of intestinal capillariasis may be fatal if untreated in due time. We report three cases of intestinal capillariasis in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). The three patients were unrelated previously healthy young men (24, 26, and 27 years of age) with no underlying disease or immune depression. They had chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, edema, and severe weight loss. Two of them acquired the infection in Thailand; the other patient had no travel history outside Lao PDR. All patients were seen several times in different hospitals before the diagnosis was made. All had concurrent parasite infections: Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, Strongyloides stercoralis, Opisthorchis viverrini, and hookworm. The patients frequently consumed uncooked fish. After treatment with albendazole (400 mg/day for 21–30 days) all patients recovered. In Lao PDR, consumption of raw small freshwater fish is common. Therefore, the possibility of a capillariasis outbreak should be considered.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Peter Odermatt, Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, Swiss Tropical Institute, PO Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland, Tel: 41-61-284-8214, Fax: 41-61-284-8105, E-mail: peter.odermatt@unibas.ch.
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