|Capillaria philippinensis egg|
Symptoms in infested humans include watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, edema, weight loss, borborygmus (stomach growling), and depressed levels of potassium and albumin in the blood. In humans, the parasites damage the cells of the intestinal wall. This damage interferes with the absorption of nutrients and the maintenance of a proper electrolyte balance. Untreated C. philippinensis infestations are often fatal.
Diagnosis usually involves finding the eggs and/or adults of C. philippinensis in stool samples.
Prevention is as simple as avoiding eating small, whole, uncooked fish. However, in C. philippinensis endemic areas, such dietary habits are common and have been practiced for many generations.
- Hwang, K.P., T.E. Wang, T.C. Liou, S.C. Lin, C.R. Kao, T.Y. Wang and K.K. Pang (2004) "Clinical features of human intestinal capillariasis in Taiwan." World Journal of Gastroenterology 10(16):2391-2393.