What is Lagochilascaris?

This parasitic nematode is most commonly found in the intestine of wild felines, but sometimes occurs subcutaneously in humans. This parasite results in the disease Lagochilascariasis.

Where is this parasite found?

Sporadic cases of human infection in subtropic regions of Latin America and the Carribean have been reported. Among these countries is Trinidad, Tobago, Columbia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Surinam, Venezuela, and Brazil.

How does one get infected?

Lagochilascaris minor, the type most important to human infection, is transmitted by ingestion of infective eggs from the environment or ingestion of infective larvae in the tissues of the intermediate hosts. Intermediate hosts of L. minor are wild rodents such as opposums.

What happens when one is infected?

In its normal host, L.minor is an intestinal parasite. But in humans, an accidental host, worms are found in the tissues of the neck, throat, tonsils, mastoids, eyes, paranasal sinuses and rarely the brain and lungs. One case of fatal encephalopathy has been reported.