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A Hospital-Based Study of Intestinal Capillariasis in Thailand: Clinical Features, Potential Clues for Diagnosis, and Epidemiological Characteristics of 85 Patients

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand;
  • | 2 Research and Diagnostic Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Mekong Health Science Research Institute, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand;
  • | 3 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Intestinal capillariasis caused by Capillaria philippinensis, a fish-borne nematode, is an important, emerging zoonotic helminthiasis. Cases may be fatal if suitable treatment is not administered in time. We reported a hospital-based study of 85 cases in Thailand, most of which were in the northeast. All patients had a history of eating raw or insufficiently cooked fresh water fish or prawns. The clinical manifestations are characterized by chronic diarrhea, borborygmi, abdominal pain, marked weight loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, dizziness, anorexia, and edema, as well as protein and electrolyte loss. Fecal examination revealed C. philippinensis in all patients. Although 16 of the total of 85 (18.8%) cases were initially found to be negative for C. philippinensis using fecal examination, further examination using an immunoblotting technique found them to be positive for the IgG antibody against Trichinella spiralis larval antigen. One day after administration of 400 mg of albendazole, eggs and/or larvae and/or adult C. philippinensis were found in 16 fecal samples. After treatment with mebendazole (200 mg twice a day for 30 days) or albendazole (200 mg twice a day for 10 days), all 85 patients recovered. The potential clues for diagnosis are clinical manifestations, history of eating raw contaminated food, and positive serological test, and fecal examinations under professional. Administration of anthelminthic drugs stimulates the excretion of larvae, eggs, and/or adult worms and can be used as a supportive method for the diagnosis of intestinal capillariasis in areas where serological test is not available.

Author Notes

Address Correspondence to Pewpan M. Intapan, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand. E-mail: pewpan@kku.ac.th

Financial support: This study was supported by a TRF Senior Research Scholar Grant, Thailand Research Fund grant number RTA5880001; the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University (TR57201 and AS58302) through W. M. and P. M. I. L. S. was partial supported by the Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University (IN60209). O. S. was supported by Scholarship under the Post-Doctoral Training Program from Research Affairs and Graduate School, Khon Kaen University (58101).

Authors’ addresses: Lakkhana Sadaow, Oranuch Sanpool, Pewpan M. Intapan, Thidarat K. Prasongdee, and Wanchai Maleewong, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, E-mails: sadaow1986@gmail.com, sanpoolor@yahoo.com, pewpan@kku.ac.th, thidpr@kku.ac.th, and wanch_ma@kku.ac.th. Wattana Sukeepaisarnjaroen, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, E-mail: wattanasukee@yahoo.com.

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