Thelazia callipaeda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Thelazia callipaeda
Parasite180153-fig3 Thelazia callipaeda (Nematoda).png
Male Thelazia callipaeda
Scientific classification
T. callipaeda
Binomial name
Thelazia callipaeda
Railliet and Henry, 1910

Thelazia callipaeda is a parasitic nematode, and the most common cause of thelaziasis (or eyeworm infestation) in humans, dogs and cats. It was first discovered in the eyes of a dog in China in 1910.[1] By 2000, over 250 human cases had been reported in the medical literature.[2]


In addition to humans, cats and dogs, definitive hosts of T. callipaeda include the wolf (Canis lupus), raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), red fox (Vulpes fulva), and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). This species has been found in China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Croatia and Thailand.[3]

Two intermediate hosts have been identified so far: Amiota (Phortica) variegata (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in Europe and Phortica okadai in China,[4] which feed on tears of humans and carnivores.[5] Some data suggests that only the males of A. (P.) variegata carry Thelazia callipaeda larvae.[6] This is noteworthy because in all other known cases of blood-feeding flies which transmit parasites, the parasites are carried by the females.[7]

Life cycle[edit]

The eggs of Thelazia callipaeda develop into first stage larvae (L1), in utero while the female is in the tissues in and around the eye of the definitive host.[8] The female deposits these larvae, which are still enclosed in the egg membranes, in the tears (lacrymal secretions) of the host. When a tear-feeding fly (intermediate host) feeds, it ingests the T. callipaeda larvae. Once inside the fly, the L1 larvae "hatch" from the egg membrane and penetrate the gut wall. They remain in the hemocoel (the fly's circulatory system) for 2 days, and then invade either the fat body or testes of the flies. In these tissues, the larvae develop into third stage larvae (L3). The L3 migrates to the head of the fly, and is released in or near the eye of a new host mammal when the fly feeds again. Once in the eye, eyelid, tear glands, or tear ducts of the mammalian host, the L3 larvae develop through the L4 larval stage and into adults in about 1 month. The seasonal timing of L1 and L4 larvae in the lacrymal (tear) secretions of naturally infested dogs in Italy was found to coincide with the activity of the fly vectors.[9]

Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment[edit]

Thelazia callipaeda in the eye of a dog

Symptoms of T. callipaeda infestation include conjunctivitis, excessive watering (lacrimation), visual impairment, and ulcers or scarring of the cornea. In some cases, the only symptom is the worm obscuring the host's vision as a "floater".[10]

Diagnosis is made by finding the adult worms in the eye or surrounding tissues. Human cases are treated by simply removing the worms. In canines, topical imidacloprid with moxidectin,[11] or milbemycin oxime (Interceptor)[12] have been recommended.

In canines, prevention against canine thelaziosis by monthly administrations of a combination of milbemycin oxime and afoxolaner has been found effective.[13]


  1. ^ Railliet A, Henry A (1910). "Nouvelles observations sur les Thélazies, Nématodes parasites de l'oeil". Comptes rendus des séances de la Société de biologie et de ses filiales. 68: 213–216, 783–785.
  2. ^ Koyama Y, Ohira A, Kono T, Yoneyama T, Shiwaku K (April 2000). "Five cases of thelaziasis". The British Journal of Ophthalmology. 84 (4): 439c–439. doi:10.1136/bjo.84.4.439c. PMC 1723424. PMID 10777285.
  3. ^ Otranto D, Dutto M (April 2008). "Human thelaziasis, Europe" (Free full text). Emerging Infectious Diseases. 14 (4): 647–9. doi:10.3201/eid1404.071205. PMC 2570937. PMID 18394285.
  4. ^ Otranto D, Lia RP, Cantacessi C, Testini G, Troccoli A, Shen JL, Wang ZX (December 2005). "Nematode biology and larval development of Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida, Thelaziidae) in the drosophilid intermediate host in Europe and China". Parasitology. 131 (Pt 6): 847–55. doi:10.1017/S0031182005008395. PMID 16336738.
  5. ^ Otranto D, Brianti E, Cantacessi C, Lia RP, Máca J (December 2006). "The zoophilic fruitfly Phortica variegata: morphology, ecology and biological niche". Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 20 (4): 358–64. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2915.2006.00643.x. PMID 17199746.
  6. ^ Otranto D, Cantacessi C, Testini G, Lia RP (September 2006). "Phortica variegata as an intermediate host of Thelazia callipaeda under natural conditions: evidence for pathogen transmission by a male arthropod vector". International Journal for Parasitology. 36 (10–11): 1167–73. doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2006.06.006. PMID 16842795.
  7. ^ Otranto D, Stevens JR, Cantacessi C, Gasser RB (March 2008). "Parasite transmission by insects: a female affair?". Trends in Parasitology. 24 (3): 116–20. doi:10.1016/ PMID 18258484.
  8. ^ Anderson, Roy C. (2000). "T. callipaeda Railliet and Henry, 1910". Nematode parasites of vertebrates: their development and transmission. Wallingford: CAB International. p. 405. ISBN 978-0-85199-421-5. OCLC 42080206.
  9. ^ Otranto D, Lia RP, Buono V, Traversa D, Giangaspero A (November 2004). "Biology of Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida, Thelaziidae) eyeworms in naturally infected definitive hosts". Parasitology. 129 (Pt 5): 627–33. doi:10.1017/S0031182004006018. PMID 15552407.
  10. ^ Zakir R, Zhong-Xia Z, Chioddini P, Canning CR (October 1999). "Intraocular infestation with the worm, Thelazia callipaeda". The British Journal of Ophthalmology. 83 (10): 1194–5. doi:10.1136/bjo.83.10.1194a. PMC 1722833. PMID 10636646.
  11. ^ Bianciardi P, Otranto D (April 2005). "Treatment of dog thelaziosis caused by Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida, Thelaziidae) using a topical formulation of imidacloprid 10% and moxidectin 2.5%". Veterinary Parasitology. 129 (1–2): 89–93. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2004.12.020. PMID 15817208.
  12. ^ Ferroglio E, Rossi L, Tomio E, Schenker R, Bianciardi P (July 2008). "Therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy of milbemycin oxime (Interceptor) against Thelazia callipaeda in naturally exposed dogs". Veterinary Parasitology. 154 (3–4): 351–3. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.03.011. PMID 18456409.
  13. ^ Lebon, Wilfried; Guillot, Jacques; Álvarez, Maria-Jesús; Antonio Bazaga, José; Cortes-Dubly, Marie-Laure; Dumont, Pascal; Eberhardt, Marianne; Gómez, Héctor; Pennant, Olivier; Siméon, Noémie; Beugnet, Frederic; Halos, Lénaïg (2019). "Prevention of canine ocular thelaziosis (Thelazia callipaeda) with a combination of milbemycin oxime and afoxolaner (Nexgard Spectra®) in endemic areas in France and Spain". Parasite. 26: 1. doi:10.1051/parasite/2019001. ISSN 1776-1042. PMC 6333103. PMID 30644355. open access