Heterophyes Infection [Heterophyiasis]
Heterophyes Infection is an endemic infectious disease caused by the trematode known as Heterophyes heterophyes, a very small intestinal flatworm or fluke. It is common in Far East, Middle East, and Egypt. Infection spreads through eating infected raw or undercooked fish from freshwater or brackish water containing metacercariae (encysted stage).
The worm attaches to Middle and upper portion of jejunum and duodenum of the small intestine. The infection causes swelling and dead columnar epithelial cells of small intestine. Initially it causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as epigastric pain, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort, and severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Praziquantel is the first choice of the drug.
Twelve populations of the mud snail Pirenella conica from the densely populated Amazon Delta, saline inland waters, and the scarcely populated coast of the Sea were investigated for the prevalence of Heterophyes heterophyes, H. aequalis, and H. dispar. Heterophyes heterophyes was most prevalent in the Amazon Delta.