Case Report: Conjunctival Infestation with Thelazia gulosa: A Novel Agent of Human Thelaziasis in the United States

Richard S. Bradbury Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

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Kathleen V. Breen Montana Department of Livestock Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Bozeman, Montana;

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Erin M. Bonura Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Science University, Portland, Oregon;

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John W. Hoyt Northwest Pathology, Bellingham, Washington

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Henry S. Bishop Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

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We report a case of thelaziasis in a 26-year-old female, acquired in Oregon. A total of 14 worms were removed from the patient’s left eye and were morphologically identified as being Thelazia gulosa. Until now, only two species of Thelazia have been implicated in causing human disease, Thelazia callipaeda in Asia and Europe and occasional reports of Thelazia californiensis from the United States of America. Here, we describe a third, previously unreported parasite of humans, T. gulosa (the cattle eyeworm) as an agent of human thelaziasis and the first reported case of human thelaziasis in North America in over two decades.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Richard S. Bradbury, Parasitic Diseases Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road MS-D64, Atlanta, GA 30329. E-mail: isl5@cdc.gov

Authors’ addresses: Richard S. Bradbury, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: isl5@cdc.gov. Kathleen V. Breen, Montana Department of Livestock Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Bozeman, MT, E-mail: kathleen.breen.91@gmail.com. Erin M. Bonura, Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, E-mail: bonura@ohsu.edu. John W. Hoyt, Northwest Pathology, Bellingham, WA, E-mail: john.hoyt@northwestpathology.com. Henry S. Bishop, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: hsb2@cdc.gov.

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