Parasitic zoonoses in Sri Lanka: an update

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Parasitic zoonoses in Sri Lanka: an update

The Sri Lanka Medical Association
  • Medicine
  • Sri Lanka
  • Update
  • Parasitic Zoonoses


pg45 Leading article 46 Ceylon Medical Journal Parasitic zoonoses in Sri Lanka: an update Both predicted and unexpected infections are being reported Since the last publications on parasitic zoonoses in Sri Lanka (1) several cases of such infections that had been predicted have been published. It is the purpose of this review to summarise the new reports and to add newer information on this topic. Protozoa Several cases of locally transmitted cutaneous leishmaniasis have been recorded (2,3) and recently reviewed (4). No other new infections have been reported but a case of infection with the coccidian Cyclospora was seen in a foreign visitor about two years back. It is possible that cases of Cyclospora are missed as measurements of oocysts and sporulation are not routinely done. Cestodes Since 1993 (1) several cases of sparganosis caused probably by Spirometra sp. have been observed. (5,6 and Samarasinghe S, personal communication). Bertiella studeri, an anoplocephalid tapeworm, is now recognised as a parasite acquired in areas where monkey reservoir hosts abound (7). As summarised by the present author (8) this cestode (Weerasooriya MV, Edirisinghe JS, personal communications), Taenia solium, Hymenolepis diminuta (Weerasooriya MV, personal communication) and hydatid cysts of Echinococcus granulosus are seen by clinicians and parasitologists, but not reported. An unusual infection, probably a spurious one, of Taenia taeniaeformis of the cat has recently been reported in a child (9). Nematodes Although a few cases of infection have been reported they are based only on serological tests and parasite larvae have not been seen in visceral larva migrans cases in Sri Lanka. A recent case of a child with hepatomegaly, high eosinophilia, raised ESR, and serologically positive for T canis was most probably an example of this infection; but serial sections of liver biopsies failed to reveal any parasite (Weerasooriya MV, personal communication). In a field study of children in

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