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Chapter 14

Capillariasis; Trichinosis (Trichinellosis)

INTESTINAL CAPILLARIASIS

As man's medical knowledge increases, it is astonishing to find a new parasitic disease that causes serious, often fatal disease, yet was undetected until 1963. Capillaria philippinensis was reported from the Philippines in that year, adding to the long list of gastrointestinal pathogens in man and to the problems of differential diagnosis for clinicians and radiologists.

Synonyms

Intestinal capillariasis. Capillariasis philippinensis. Wasting disease. Pudoc mystery disease. Sp: Capillariasis. Fr. Capillariose. Ger: Capillariase.

Definition

Intestinal capillariasis is a wasting and sometimes fatal disease of man caused by the nematode, Capillaria philippinensis.

Geographic Distribution

Intestinal capillariasis was first described in 1963 in a male native of the province of Ilocos Norte on the northwest coast of Luzon in the Philippines. By 1967 the disease had assumed epidemic proportions in at least six provinces in northern Luzon, with over 1,000 new cases and a mortality of 10%. One epidemiological study, which took place over a 2-1/2 year period and was reported in 1969, showed that 32% of the population of a northern Luzon village was infected with C. philippinensis. All persons with eggs in their stools eventually developed symptoms of the disease unless they received proper therapy. In this study, the mortality in symptomatic patients ranged from 19% in females to 35% in males. The disease has subsequently been reported from southern Leyte in the Philippines and from Thailand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Iran, and Egypt. It is probable that case reports from other coastal Asiatic countries will occur as familiarity with the parasite and the disease increases.

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Copyright: Palmer and Reeder