Onchocerca lupi infection in Turkey: A unique case of a rare human parasite

İLHAN H. D., YAMAN A., Morishima Y., Sugiyama H., Muto M., Yamasaki H., ...More

ACTA PARASITOLOGICA, vol.58, no.3, pp.384-388, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.2478/s11686-013-0152-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.384-388
  • Keywords: Onchocerca lupi, orbita, Turkey, zoonotic infestation, ZOONOTIC ONCHOCERCA
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Onchocerpa lupi was first isolated from a wolf in Russia. Since then, canine ocular onchocercosis has been increasingly reported, particularly in Europe and the United States. It is thought that blackflies and midges are the vectors of transmission, and it is possible that these vectors could transmit the parasite to humans. The first human case of O. lupi in Turkey was reported in 2011. In this report we present the third human case of O. lupi infection in Turkey. Our patient was a 28-year-old male who displayed a painless, immobile mass under the conjunctiva. The mass measured 10 x 12 mm in size. Pathological examination of the surgically excised tissue was suggestive of infection by a filarial nematode. Subsequently, the parasite was identified as O. lupi through molecular analysis. All of the previously reported cases of O. lupi in both humans and dogs were more symptomatic than in our patient, Onchocerca infection should not be ruled out during the differential diagnosis of the subconjunctival and orbital cystic mass in instances where there is little to no inflammation. It is important to consider biopsy and carry out molecular analysis to identify the parasite.