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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 149-150
Hymenolepis diminuta in a child from rural area

Department of Microbiology, Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research Medical College, Talegaon Dabhade, Pune, Maharashtra, India

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We report a rare case of Hymenolepis diminuta infection in a 12-year-old girl from a rural area of Devghar.

Keywords: Hymenolepis diminuta, H. diminuta, rat tapeworm

How to cite this article:
Watwe S, Dardi CK. Hymenolepis diminuta in a child from rural area. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2008;51:149-50

How to cite this URL:
Watwe S, Dardi CK. Hymenolepis diminuta in a child from rural area. Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2008 [cited 2022 Jan 20];51:149-50. Available from: https://www.ijpmonline.org/text.asp?2008/51/1/149/40431

   Introduction Top

H. diminuta infection in human beings is rather uncommon. Different surveys have reported parasitization rates ranging between 0.001% and 5.5%. [1],[2],[3]

H. diminuta , a rat tapeworm, is primarily a rodent parasite for which arthropods act as an intermediate host. Flea, beetles, cockroaches are the common intermediate hosts; and rats, mice are the definitive hosts. Humans, usually children, are accidental hosts and acquire infection by ingesting the infected intermediate host. Adult worms are found in the small intestine, and the eggs are passed in the stool. Presence of eggs in the stool specimen indicates infection.

   Case History Top

A study was carried out to find the prevalence of intestinal parasites in children from a small village. In one of the samples, we found spherical, thick-shelled, yellow-colored eggs, 70 µm in diameter, having six central hooklets but no polar filaments [Figure - 1]. They were identified as H. diminuta eggs. This specimen was from a 12-year-old girl living in a place heavily infested with rodents and cockroaches.

The patient was not acutely ill, but she had complaints of intermittent abdominal pain, irritability and pruritis. On physical examination, no positive clinical finding was noted. Her weight was 31 kg and height was 130 cm. On blood examination, no abnormality was detected.

   Discussion Top

H. diminuta , a rat tapeworm, is prevalent worldwide, but only a few hundred human cases have been reported. [1],[2],[3] In developed countries, H. diminuta infection is very rare. Very few such cases have been reported from Australia, United States, Spain, and Italy. [4],[5] Isolated cases are reported from other parts of the world, like Malaysia, Thailand, Jamaica, Indonesia. [6],[7],[8],[9]

In India a survey of 10,000 stool samples was carried out by Chandler. [10] Twenty-three cases of H. diminuta were found. A few other isolated cases of H. diminuta have been reported. [11],[12] Our finding is similar to these studies.

H. diminuta infection is often asymptomatic, but abdominal pain, irritability and pruritus have been associated with this infection. [4] Our patient also had similar complaints. H. diminuta infection may also cause eosinophilia, but in our case it was not evident. Similar findings have been reported by Tena et al. [4] and Marangi M. [5]

Considering the large number of rats, cockroaches and beetles present near human habitation, a survey should be carried out on a larger scale for detecting more H. diminuta infections.

   Acknowledgment Top

We are grateful to Dr. S. G. Ghaisas (Medical Director) and Dr. A. T. Kulkarni (Principal), MIMER Medical College, Talegaon Dabhade, Dist. Pune, for their support and encouragement.

   References Top

1.Lo CT, Ayele Y, Birrie H. Helminth and snail survey in Harerge region of Ethiopia with special reference to Schistosomiasis. Ethiop Med J 1989;27:73-83.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.McMillan B, Kelly A, Walkar JC. Prevalence of Hymenolepis diminuta infection in man in the New Guinea Highlands. Trop Geogr Med 1971;23:390-2.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Mercado R, Arias B. Infections by Taenia sp and other intestinal cestodos in patients of consultorios hospitals and the public sector north of Santiago de Chile (1985- 1995). Bol Chil Parasitol 1995:50:80-3.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Tena D, Pιrez Simón M, Gimeno C, Pιrez Pomata MT, Illescas S, Amondarain I , et al . Human infection with Hymenolepis diminuta : Case report from Spain. J Clin Microbiol 1998;36:2375-6.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Marangi M, Zechini B, Fileti A, Quaranta G, Aceti A. Hymenolepis diminuta infection in a child living in the urban area of Rome, Italy. J Clin Microbiol 2003;41:3994-5.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
6.Kan SK, Kok RT, Marto S, Thomas I , Teo WW. The first report in Hymenolepis diminuta infection in Sabah, Malaysia. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1981;75:609.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Tesjaroen S, Chareonlarp K, Yoolek A, Mai-iam W, Lertlaituam P. Fifth and sixth discoveries of Hymenolepis diminuta in Thai people. J Med Assoc Thial 1987;70:49-50.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Cohen IP. A case report of Hymenolepis diminuta in a child in St James Parish, Jamaica. J La State Med Soc 1989;141:23-4.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  
9.Stafford E, Sudomo EM, Marsi S, Brown RJ. Human parasitosis in Bali, Indonesia. South East Asian J Trop Med Public Health 1980;11:319-23.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Chandler AC. The distribution of H. diminuta infections in India and discussion of its epidemiological significance. Indian J Med Res 1927;14:973.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Sane SY, Irani S, Jain N, Shah KN. Hymenolepis diminuta : A rare zoonotic infection report of a case. Indian J Pediatr 1984;51:743-5.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Varghese SL, Sudha P, Padmaja P, Jaiswal PK, Kuruvilla T. Hymenolepis diminuta infestation in a child. J Commun Dis 1998;30:201-3.  Back to cited text no. 12    

Correspondence Address:
Smita Watwe
Flat No 302, Vimalkunj Apartments, Maitreya Baug, Kothrud, Pune - 411038, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.40431

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