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.
It is also noteworthy that 28.1% of the Japanese infected had a history of gastric diseases such as gastric ulcer. Although the infection rate of intestinal parasites among Japanese residents in developing countries was low, compared to that of the natives in the countries, the rate is still higher than that in Japanese living in the home country.