Figure 8: Capillaria egg          Figure 9: T. trichiura egg

Parasitological diagnosis is made either by examination of fecal matter or by intestinal biopsy.
The presence of adults, eggs, or larvae in feces is definitive evidence of infection.
However, as comparison of the above images suggests, it is not uncommon to confuse the eggs of Capillaria with those of T. trichiura.

Unembryonated C. philippinensis eggs are peanut-shaped, 36 to 45 µm in length and 21 µm in width with reduced, flattened bipolar plugs and a striated shell.
The length and width vary by species, but the characteristic features of the eggs -- namely, peanut shape, inconspicuous polar plugs, and striated texture of outer shell -- allow identification for proper diagnosis.

Adult C. philippinensis worms are thin, filamentous, of uniform diameter, and of length of 6-25 mm in intestines.

case study

In 1992, a group of Italian doctors reported the first documented case of C. philippinensis infection acquired in Indonesia.

A 32-year-old Italian man returned from a one month-long trip to Indonesia with the following symptoms: heartburn, abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, headache, fatigue, weight loss, low-grade fever, and severe itching.  The diagnosis of intestinal capillariasis was provided by the recovery of C. philippinensis eggs in the stool.  Three weeks of treatment with the antihelmintic agent albendazole resulted in clinical and parasitologic cure.

Intestinal capillariasis (Capillaria philippinensis) acquired in Indonesia: a case report.  Chichino G, Bernuzzi AM, Bruno A, Cevini C, Atzori C, Malfitano A, Scaglia M.  Department of Infectious Diseases, University-IRCCS S., Pavia, Italy.  Am J Trop Med Hyg 1992 Jul;47(1):10-2.

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