A waterborn zoonotic helminthiase in an Italian diver

Giorgia Bracaglia, Stefania Ranno, Livia Mancinelli, Maristella Santoro, Lorenzo Cerroni, Cesare Massone, Omar Sangueza, Francisco G. Bravo, Andrea Diociaiuti, Emanuele Nicastri, Maurizio Muraca, May El Hachem, Renata Boldrini, Francesco Callea, Lorenza Putignani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many waterborne helminthes are opportunistic parasites that can travel directly from animals to man and may contain forms capable of penetrating the skin. Among these, Sparganum is the pseudophyllidean tapeworm that belongs to the genus Spirometra, which is responsible for parasitic zoonosis; it is rarely detected in Europe and is caused by the plerocercoid infective larva. Thus far, only six cases of cutaneous and ocular sparganosis have been reported in Europe; two and four cases have occurred in France and Italy, respectively. Herein, we describe a new case of sparganosis in Italy that affected a male diver who presented to the Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital of Rome. The patient's skin biopsy was submitted to the Parasitology department who, in consultation with Pathology, concluded that the morphologic and microscopic findings were those of Sparganum spp. larvae. The patient recovered following a single dose of 600 mg praziquantel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-386
Number of pages4
JournalPathogens and Global Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 18 2016


  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Praziquantel
  • Seawater
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious
  • Sparganosis
  • Sparganum
  • Zoonoses
  • Case Reports
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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