Le infezioni in medicina : rivista periodica di eziologia, epidemiologia, diagnostica, clinica e terapia delle patologie infettive

[Loa loa filariasis in Italy: review of the literature with a clinical report].

PMID 22037434


We present the case of an asymptomatic Loa loa disease in a 28-year-old Nigerian man living in Italy for 5 years. The man was admitted to our clinic for an occasional identification of hypereosinophilia (white blood cell count 5440/mmc, eosinophil 42%) and the presence of microfilaria at an hemoscopic evaluation. The diagnosis was made by testing the diurnal peripheral blood that showed a parasitaemia of 7000 microfilia/mL. The patient was treated with ivermectin 12 mg on the first day followed by albendazole 400 mg every 12 hours for 21 days with a reduction but no negativization of the parasitaemia and no collateral effect. Filariasis should be considered in all patients who come from or have stayed in endemic areas or who present alterations in the leukocyte formula, including hypereosinophilia, or some unexplainable allergic disorders. The lab diagnosis can be conducted through a hemoscopic test or directly with the identification of the adult worm, whereas the parasitaemia can be evaluated only through a hemoscopic test. The therapy can be non-conclusive or carried out with difficulty as finding diethylcarbamazine may be a hard task or potentially fatal anaphylactic reactions may occur.

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Diethylcarbamazine citrate salt, ≥98%