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A case of subconjunctival dirofilariasis in South India

Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection20122:78

  • Received: 10 March 2012
  • Accepted: 26 April 2012
  • Published:


We describe a case of subconjunctival dirofilariasis from South India. The worm was identified by detailed morphologic study.


  • Subconjunctival dirofilariasis
  • Dirofilaria tenuis
A 75-year-old male presented with redness and irritation of the left eye. Ophthalmic examination revealed a thin white live worm wriggling around superior conjunctiva. The worm removal was done under local anesthesia and identified as an adult female Dirofilaria tenuis. D. tenuis rarely causes subconjunctival dirofilariasis in Asia. The parasite was identified by detailed morphologic study in wet preparation. Dirofilaria is identified by filariform; body cuticle is finely striated. Mouth without lips and encircled by six to ten papillae and head papillae are insignificant. Esophagus is relatively short and very distinctly divided into two portions—muscular and ventricular (Figs. 1, 2, and 3). The identification of the parasite can also be done using polymerase chain reaction technique.
Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Photograph of left eye showing the live worm in superior conjunctiva

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Anterior end of adult female D. tenuis (×10)

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Posterior end of adult female D. tenuis (×10). Posterior end is rounded and vulva is little behind the esophagus


Authors’ Affiliations

Giridhar Eye Institute, Kochi, India
Department of Ophthalmology, Saiful Anwar General Hospital, Brawijaya University, Malang, Indonesia
Department of Parasitology, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, India
Department of Uveitis and Ocular Pathology, Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India


© The Author(s) 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.