Squirming worm infection in foot

hookworm infection

A 42-year-old man developed a squirming snake-like lesion on his right foot after a holiday to Nigeria.

He went to hospital after a month of having an intensely itchy red eruption on his foot that moved a few millimetres to a few centimetres each day.

Doctors diagnosed the man with cutaneous larva migrans, a parasitic skin infection caused by hookworm larvae.

Hookworm larvae are transmitted to humans through contact with faeces from infected dogs and cats, and can migrate under the skin’s surface, causing itchy red tracks.

The parasite is confined to the upper layer of the skin because it lacks an enzyme necessary to break through to lower levels.

The man’s lesion healed completely after treatment with albendazole – an anti-parasite (anthelmintic) medication.

Alice Klein

References

Ma D-L, et. al. Creeping Eruption — Cutaneous Larva Migrans. New England Journal of Medicine 2016; 374:e16.

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