Late presentation of cutaneous larva migrans: a case report
© licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Received: 30 April 2009
Accepted: 27 July 2009
Published: 12 August 2009
Cutaneous larva migrans is caused by infection with hookworm larvae in tropical and sub-tropical areas. A history of recent travel to the tropics is usually elicited.
A case of cutaneous larva migrans is described in which symptoms did not appear until five months after travel to Tanzania.
Although the lesion of cutaneous larva migrans may appear immediately, the larvae may lie dormant for many months and presentation may therefore occur a long time after any foreign travel.
An 18-year-old white British man presented with a three-day history of an intensely itchy eruption on the dorsum of his right foot. His symptoms started immediately after a long-haul flight from Britain to Australia. Five months previously he had travelled to Tanzania, where he walked barefoot on beaches. Examination revealed a typical serpiginous lesion (Figure 1) and a diagnosis of cutaneous larva migrans was made on clinical grounds. Treatment with oral mebendazole cured both the lesion and the itching within a week.
Although the lesion of cutaneous larva migrans may appear almost immediately, this case illustrates the fact that the larvae may lie dormant for many months after infection. Presentation may therefore occur a long time after travel to the tropics. It is possible that a subsequent long-haul flight was the precipitant that awakened the larva from its dormant stage in this case.
Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this case report and accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review from the journal's Editor-in-Chief.
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