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Fever, malaise and eosinophilia after consumption of raw fish in Italy: infection by a liver fluke (Opisthorchis felineus)


, : Fever, malaise and eosinophilia after consumption of raw fish in Italy: infection by a liver fluke (Opisthorchis felineus). Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 156(5): A3873-A3873

Infection by a liver fluke (trematode) is rare in Western Europe, but recently a few outbreaks caused by this parasite have been described after consumption of raw freshwater fish caught in Italy. A 35-year-old Dutch woman presented with fever, without localising symptoms. Laboratory tests showed pronounced eosinophilia. Microscopy of the faeces showed a liver fluke egg. Upon inquiry, it appeared that she had consumed raw fish (carpaccio of tench) three weeks earlier in a restaurant in Northern Italy. In Italy, 45 people with comparable symptoms were found to be infected by the same parasite. All patients had eaten in the same restaurant. They were treated successfully with praziquantel. The stool egg was from the trematode Opisthorchis felineus. O. felineus lives in the bile ducts of fish-eating mammals. Its life cycle includes freshwater snails and fish. Acute symptoms are fever, malaise and abdominal pain and complications such as liver and bile duct abscesses and cholangitis. Diagnosis is made by microscopic examination of the faeces, confirmed by PCR or by serology.

US$29.90

PMID: 22296896


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