Journal of Helminthology

Short Communications

Human ocular onchocerciasis caused by Onchocerca lupi (Spirurida, Onchocercidae) in Iran

G. Mowlavia1, F. Farzboda2, A. Kheirkhaha2, I. Mobedia1, D.D. Bowmana3 and S.R. Naddafa4 c1

a1 Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

a2 Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

a3 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, New York

a4 Department of Parasitology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran


Cases of canine onchocerciasis caused by Onchocerca lupi are increasingly reported from Europe and the western United States of America. The zoonotic role of this parasite had already been suspected in Europe as the clinical signs and histopathology seen in two ocular cases from Albania and the Crimean region were very similar to those of canine ocular onchocerciasis. In the most recent reports of human onchocerciasis, O. lupi has been morphologically and molecularly identified as the causative agent of ocular infestation in two patients from Turkey, and one patient from Tunisia. Here, we report an additional case of nodular lesions involving two, and possibly more, immature worms in a patient from Iran. The parasite was found to belong to the genus Onchocerca based on morphological features and the species was confirmed as O. lupi from a partial sequence analysis of 12S ribosomal DNA.

(Received June 19 2012)

(Accepted January 09 2013)

(Online publication February 07 2013)


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