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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 312-316

Ocular dirofilariasis: A case series of 8 patients

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Epirus, Greece
2 Department of Microbiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Epirus, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Chris D Kalogeropoulos
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Head of Ocular Inflammation Division, Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, P.O. Box 1180, Epirus
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.142267

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Purpose: Dirofilaria repens is an endemic parasite in Mediterranean countries that mostly affects animals. Rarely, however, it can infect humans. This case series presents patients with ocular infections due to D. repens. Materials and Methods: A chart review was performed of patients with ocular dirofilariasis after the year 2000, treated at a tertiary referral centre in Greece. Data were collected on the ocular, microbiological, or/and histopathological aspects and treatment. Results: Eight cases of unilateral ocular dirofilariasis were identified, of which 5 were subconjunctival (1 masquerading as nodular scleritis) and were removed through a conjunctival incision, 2 cases were intravitreal and were removed with vitrectomy, and 1 was intraorbital (adjacent to the roof of the orbit). The latter appeared as an encapsulated mass and subsequent histological examination revealed the presence of the parasite. Of the 8 cases recorded after the year 2000, 7 appeared within the last 6 years (4 cases within the last 3 years). The majority of cases involved residents of the Ionian Islands (7 of 8 cases). Conclusions: D. repens can affect various ocular and periocular tissues. A progressive increase in the incidence of dirofilariasis was observed, which is potentially associated with climate changes in warm and moist areas where this parasite is endemic.

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