Mebendazole treatment persistently alters the size profile and morphology of Trichuris trichiura eggs

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  • Peter Nejsum
  • Kasper Lind Andersen, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  • ,
  • Sidsel Dahl Andersen
  • Stig Milan Thamsborg, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  • ,
  • Ana Merino Tejedor, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

The soil transmitted whipworm, Trichuris trichiura affects about half a billion people globally. Diagnosis is based on identification of characteristic lemon-shaped eggs in stool samples. Occasionally large Trichuris eggs have been reported and have been ascribed to variation within T. trichiura or zoonotic infection with T. vulpis from dogs. We observed that the egg size profile changed markedly after anthelmintic treatment, and remained so, in a human individual self-infected with T. trichiura. The large eggs were detected with two standard diagnostic methods, Kato-Katz thick smear and salt-flotation (McMaster) method. It is therefore important to bear in mind that the morphology of parasite eggs may vary, e.g. in response to previous drug treatment. Large Trichuris eggs in human stool samples should not be diagnosed as T. vulpis infection without confirmation by other means.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105347
JournalActa Tropica
Volume204
Number of pages4
ISSN0001-706X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • Anthelmintic treatment, Diagnostics, Egg size, Kato Katz, McMaster, Trichuris trichiura

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