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Subconjunctival Loa loa worm: first case report in Brazil

DOI: 10.1590/S0004-27492012000100015

Keywords: loa, loiasis, conjunctival diseases [parasitology], eye infections, parasitic [parasitology], filariosis, brazil, case reports.

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Abstract:

we report the first case of ocular infestation by loa loa in brazil. loiasis is caused by infestation with loa loa, a filarial parasite originally found in the rainforests of western and central africa. it is transmitted by the bite of the fly chrysops and has been recently described in other places other than africa, in african immigrants or travellers. our case is a 33 year-old woman from cameroon who was living in s?o paulo, brazil, for 5 years. she was asymptomatic until one morning she started feeling "something moving" in the left eye. under topical anesthesia, on the slit lamp, a moving worm was removed from the subconjunctival space, which later was confirmed to be a male loa loa adult specimen. blood tests revealed microfilaraemia of 129 mf/ml. the patient was treated with 400 mg oral albendazole for 3 weeks and 60 mg prednisone. this report illustrates an unusual ocular disease, which is extremely rare outside of africa, but easily diagnosed and treated. ophthalmologists should be aware of it, in face of an increasingly globalized world.

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