Pentastomiasis: Symptoms



Most often, there are no symptoms associated with pentastome infection. Correspondingly, most findings are accidental in autopsy, radiological, or surgical findings.

However, problems can arise when the encysted larvae enlarge through molting (up to 1000-fold increase in volume,) cause pressure on vital structures, perforate organs during 3rd-stage larval migration, or when large numbers are involved.

These rare symptoms may include:
  • Pneumonitis, bronchitis, pleuritis, pericarditis, hepatitis, hepatic fibrosis, prostatitis, or peritonitis
  • Abdominal pain, abdominal distention, or possibly intestinal obstruction
  • Bile duct blockage
  • Lung collapse
  • Granulomatous reaction

Near blockage of the intestine. (6)

L. serrata infection more regularly causes these symptoms:

  • Self-limited nasopharyngitis, nasopharyngeal obstruction or suffocation, nasopharyngitis (called Halzoun or Marrara Syndrome)
  • passage of <1cm-long worm-like structures (3rd-stage larvae) in nasal discharge and vomit.
  • Pain and itching of throat and ears
  • Cough
  • Vomiting
  • Frontal headache
  • Dyspnoea, dysphasia
  • Large amounts of nasal and lachrymal discharges
  • Larvae free-floating in anterior chamber of eye
  • Abscesses in Eustachian tubes
  • Facial paralysis (secondary involvement of facial nerve)