By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Officials in Vietnam reported a case of Dracunculus in a man with no travel history to Africa or any other endemic part of the world.

Image/Robert Herriman

This is the first case ever of a Dracunculus worm infection in Vietnam. The case is discussed in the April 2021 issue of the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

In July 2020, the Vietnamese public health surveillance system detected a hanging worm in a 23-year-old male patient.

The Case Report states: The worms were retrieved from the lesions and microscopically examined in Vietnam, identifying structures compatible with Dracunculus spp. and L1-type larvae. A section of this parasite was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, United States, for confirmatory diagnosis of GW. The adult worm had cuticle structures compatible with Dracunculus parasites, although the length of L1 larvae was about 339 μm, substantially shorter than D. medinensis. DNA sequence analysis of the 18S small subunit rRNA gene confirmed that this parasite was not GW, and determined that the sample belonged to a Dracunculus sp. not previously reported in GenBank that clustered with the animal-infective Dracunculus insignis and Dracunculus lutrae, located in a different clade than D. medinensis. 

Guinea worm (GW) disease, caused by Dracunculus medinensis, is an almost eradicated waterborne zoonotic disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently lists GW as endemic in only five African countries.

Read the entire case report at the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.