Thelazia callipaeda Ocular Infection

Chang Shen Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China;

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Peifang Ren Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China;

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Qing Xu Department of Clinical Laboratory Parasitology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China

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Hong Lu Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China;

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A 26-year-old female from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, presented with a complaint of foreign body sensation in her left eye for 5 days. She did not own an animal and had no history of contact with one. She recalled only a camping trip about 2 months ago. Examination of the eye by slit-lamp biomicroscopy revealed slight hyperemia in the conjunctiva of her left eye, and several semihyaline nematodes wriggled in the conjunctiva sac (Figure 1, Supplemental Video 1). There was no obvious secretion, conjunctiva papilla, or follicle. Two nematodes were taken out by swab and then submitted to the infectious disease department laboratory for analysis and identification. In the following week, four additional nematodes were removed from the conjunctiva fornix of her left eye by two scrupulous ophthalmologists. The worms were identified as Thelazia callipaeda.1 Each worm had a typical scalariform buccal cavity and conical tail2 (Figure 2).

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Anterior segment photography showed semihyaline nematodes wriggling in the conjunctival sac. There was slight hyperemia of the conjunctiva without other symptoms of the eye.

Citation: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 109, 6; 10.4269/ajtmh.23-0330

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Thelazia callipaeda under microscope. (A) Two worms were removed from the patients’ conjunctival sac, and both worms had a conical tail as well as a scalariform buccal cavity, which is the key feature of Thelazia callipaeda. (B) The upper right worm was a male worm with a spiculum. (C) The lower left worm was a female with uterine tubules in the middle of the body, which contained several eggs. (D) The scalariform buccal cavity is shown.

Citation: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 109, 6; 10.4269/ajtmh.23-0330

Supplemental Materials

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REFERENCES

  • 1.

    Otranto D , Traversa D , 2005. Thelazia eyeworm: an original endo- and ecto-parasitic nematode. Trends Parasitol 21: 14.

  • 2.

    Naem S , 2005. Ultrastructural observations on the surface of Thelazia lacrymalis (Nematoda: Spirurida, Thelaziidae). Acta Vet Hung 53: 205212.

Author Notes

Authors’ addresses: Chang Shen, Peifang Ren, and Hong Lu, Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China, E-mails: shenc_0526@163.com, 1508021@zju.edu.cn, and lh0571@zju.edu.cn. Qing Xu, Department of Clinical Laboratory Parasitology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China, E-mail: xuqing0826@163.com.

Address correspondence to Hong Lu, Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310003, China. E-mail: lh0571@zju.edu.cn
  • Figure 1.

    Anterior segment photography showed semihyaline nematodes wriggling in the conjunctival sac. There was slight hyperemia of the conjunctiva without other symptoms of the eye.

  • Figure 2.

    Thelazia callipaeda under microscope. (A) Two worms were removed from the patients’ conjunctival sac, and both worms had a conical tail as well as a scalariform buccal cavity, which is the key feature of Thelazia callipaeda. (B) The upper right worm was a male worm with a spiculum. (C) The lower left worm was a female with uterine tubules in the middle of the body, which contained several eggs. (D) The scalariform buccal cavity is shown.

  • 1.

    Otranto D , Traversa D , 2005. Thelazia eyeworm: an original endo- and ecto-parasitic nematode. Trends Parasitol 21: 14.

  • 2.

    Naem S , 2005. Ultrastructural observations on the surface of Thelazia lacrymalis (Nematoda: Spirurida, Thelaziidae). Acta Vet Hung 53: 205212.

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