Linguatula serrata, the most common cause of linguatulosis in humans, has been reported in the tropical regions of North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. It is most common in Malaysia and Central Africa (John and Petri, 2006).

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Human cases of visceral linguatulosis have been linked with eating raw visceral organs of sheep, goats, cattle, or camels in India, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, and Sudan. Linkages with eating undercooked sheep, goat liver, or lymph nodes has been reported in Lebanon and Iran (Meshgi and Asgarian, 2003; Cheng, 1986; Riley et al., 1985; Ma, 2002; Lazo, 1999; Siavashi, 2002; John and Petri, 2006). Two, one and one human cases of ocular linguatulosis have been reported in the USA, Israel, and Ecuador, respectively (Lazo et al., 1999).

Figure 7. Schematic drawings of various linguatulid hooks (adapted from Sambon, 1922).

Scott Ritter © 2006