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Intraocular infestation with the worm,Thelazia callipaeda

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Editor,—Ocular infections with helminthic parasites are well described. The commonest organisms are filarial worms that reside in subcutaneous tissue, and are found as skin infestations or masses in the lids. Some are known to live freely in the conjunctival sac. Worms that are visible to the naked eye are often referred to as “eyeworms”, and are in the larval or adult stage of their life cycle. Thelazia callipaeda, or the oriental eye worm, is a spiruroid nematode which is the causative organism in thelaziasis, a well described condition affecting the external eye.1 It is primarily a parasite of the conjunctiva in dogs, and is also found in rabbits and humans.2 Its presence in the conjunctival sac causes lacrimation and irritation, and its frequent excursions across the cornea may cause marked discomfort and, eventually, corneal scarring. The worm also causes paralytic ectropion through its presence in the lower fornix. At least 40 cases of infection in humans have …

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