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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 223

Human dirofilariasis

Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore - 575 001, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore - 575 001, Karnataka, India

How to cite this article:
Bhat K G, Wilson G, Mallya S. Human dirofilariasis. Indian J Med Microbiol 2003;21:223

How to cite this URL:
Bhat K G, Wilson G, Mallya S. Human dirofilariasis. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2003 [cited 2021 Mar 5];21:223. Available from:

Dear Editor,
Humans occasionally become infected with species of filariae normally found in animals.[1] We report here one such case of zoonotic filariasis due to Dirofilaria tenuis.
A 70-year-old woman was presented with a nodule of two months duration around the medial aspect of the left upper eyelid. The nodule was firm and nontender. To begin with, the patient noticed a small papule over the site of nodule, which gradually increased to the present size. There was no history of discharge or redness of eyes. Laboratory investigations revealed normal blood parameters except mild eosinophilia.
A provisional diagnosis of giant chalazion was made. However, a live, long worm was released by incision. The worm measured 12 cm in length, white in colour and had longitudinally ridged cuticle. Morphologically, it was identified as D. tenuis [Figure:1].[2] The patient recovered completely after the incision and removal of the worm.
Zoonotic filariasis occurs when humans are accidentally infected by filariae normally found in animals, Dirofilaria spp. being one among them. Transmission occurs through mosquito bite. In human infection, parasite development is impaired and microfilariae are not produced.[3] Subconjunctival dirofilariasis due to D. repens has been reported from Karnataka.[4] Dirofilariasis is a common zoonotic infection in Sri Lanka.[5] Humans are the dead end for the parasite. However, it is important to identify the nematode as Dirofilaria to avoid treatment with antihelminthic agents. Surgical removal of the worm is the recommended treatment. 

 ~ References Top

1.Mc Mahon JE, Simmsen PE. Filariasis In: Manson's Tropical Medicine, 20th ed. Cook G, Ed. (ELBS) 1996:1357-1358.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Beaver PC, Jung RC. Clinical Parasitology, 9th ed. K. M. Varghese Comp, Bombay 1984:387-399.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Boreham PFL. Dirofilariasis in man. In: Dirofilariasis, Boreham PFL, Atwell RB, Ed (CRC Press) 1998:218-226.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Nadgir S, Tallur SS, Mangoli V, Halesh LH, Krishna BV. Subconjunctival dirofilariasis in India. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2001;32:244-246.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Dissanaike AS, Abeyewickreme W, Wijesundera MD, Weerasooriya MV, Ismail MM. Human dirofilariasis caused by Dirofilaria (Nochtiella) repens in Sri Lanka. Parasitologia 1997;39:375-382.  Back to cited text no. 5    
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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04