Korean J Parasitol.  2013 Aug;51(4):467-470. 10.3347/kjp.2013.51.4.467.

Cutaneous Gnathostomiasis with Recurrent Migratory Nodule and Persistent Eosinophilia: a Case Report from China

  • 1Department of Parasitology, Medical College, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, Henan Province, P. R. China. wangzq@zzu.edu.cn


The present study reports a human case of cutaneous gnathostomiasis with recurrent migratory nodule and persistent eosinophilia in China. A 52-year-old woman from Henan Province, central China, presented with recurrent migratory reddish swelling and subcutaneous nodule in the left upper arm and on the back for 3 months. Blood examination showed eosinophila (21.2%), and anti-sparganum antibodies were positive. Skin biopsy of the lesion and histopathological examinations revealed dermal infiltrates of eosinophils but did not show any parasites. Thus, the patient was first diagnosed as sparganosis; however, new migratory swellings occurred after treatment with praziquantel for 3 days. On further inquiring, she recalled having eaten undercooked eels and specific antibodies to the larvae of Gnathostoma spinigerum were detected. The patient was definitely diagnosed as cutaneous gnathostomiasis caused by Gnathostoma sp. and treated with albendazole (1,000 mg/day) for 15 days, and the subsequent papule and blister developed after the treatment. After 1 month, laboratory findings indicated a reduced eosinophil count (3.3%). At her final follow-up 18 months later, the patient had no further symptoms and anti-Gnathostoma antibodies became negative. Conclusively, the present study is the first report on a human case of cutaneous gnathostomiasis in Henan Province, China, based on the past history (eating undercooked eels), clinical manifestations (migratory subcutaneous nodule and persistent eosinophilia), and a serological finding (positive for specific anti-Gnathostoma antibodies).


Gnathostoma spinigerum; gnathostomiasis; migratory subcutaneous nodule; serodiagnosis; albendazole; China
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