Local transmission of the eye worm Thelazia callipaeda in southern Germany
This report describes the first assumed locally transmitted case of the eye worm Thelazia callipaeda in a dog living in southern Germany. A 4-year-old male golden retriever from the town of Bühl in north eastern Baden-Württemberg, about 10 km from the German–French border, showed one sided lacrimation for over 2 weeks. Despite the application of antibiotics, there was no improvement, and the dog additionally showed blepharospasmus, epiphora and red conjunctivas. A deepened eye inspection revealed five whitish filiform parasites that were morphologically identified as T. callipaeda. The partial sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1, 605 bp) from one specimen revealed a novel haplotype, which differs by 1.3% from the only one (haplotype 1) identified in Europe so far. Since the infected dog had never been abroad with the exception of two daytrips to the close Alsace region in France, the transmission of T. callipaeda most probably was domestic. With the presence of end hosts and Phortica flies nourishing on lachrymal secretions acting as intermediate hosts and an increasing number of dogs travelling to and coming from endemic regions in the South, the establishment of T. callipaeda in large parts of Europe cannot be excluded.
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