Dirofilaria repens as a cause of subconjunctival infection in a 77-years old female patient from Croatia - a case report

Mario Sviben, Tomislav Meštrović, Khalil Nemer, Katarina Palko Bartulović, Robert Škara, Gordana Mlinarić Galinović


The zoonotic parasites of the genus Dirofilaria are on the increase as an accidental finding or as a cause of disease in humans worldwide. Human dirofilariasis usually manifests as either subcutaneous infiltrates or lung parenchymal disease, in many cases asymptomatically. We report the case of a 77-year old female patient presenting with irritation and pain in her left eye. Ophthalmologic examination of the temporal part of her left eye revealed motile and threadlike organism, which was surgically extracted and morphologically identified as Dirofilaria. Further molecular diagnostics with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed that the isolated organism is Dirofilaria repens. Due to already recognized autochthonous occurrence of human dirofilariasis in Croatia, human dirofilariasis must be included in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with subcutaneous nodules, eye affection and other potential manifestations of this disease.


dirofilariasis, nematode, subconjunctival infection, ophthalmology, parasitology

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