World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Capillaria philippinensis

Article Id: WHEBN0012841106
Reproduction Date:

Title: Capillaria philippinensis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Strongyloides stercoralis, Abdominal distension, Capillaria (nematode)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Capillaria philippinensis

Capillaria philippinensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nematoda
Class: Adenophorea
Subclass: Enoplia
Order: Trichocephalida
Family: Capillariidae
Genus: Capillaria
Species: C. philippinensis
Binomial name
Capillaria philippinensis
Chitwood, Valesquez and Salazar, 1968

Capillaria philippinensis is a parasitic nematode which causes intestinal capillariasis. This sometimes fatal disease was first discovered in Northern Luzon, Philippines in 1964. Cases have also been reported from China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Lao PDR, Taiwan and Thailand. Cases diagnosed in Italy and Spain were believed to be acquired abroad, with one case possibly contracted in Colombia.[1] The natural life cycle of C. philippinensis is believed to involve fish as intermediate hosts, and fish-eating birds as definitive hosts. Humans acquire C. philippinensis by eating small species of infested fish whole and raw.

Discovery and nomenclature

Between the first case reported in 1964 and the end of 1967, more than 1000 cases were documented in and around Northern Luzon, including 77 deaths. Witch doctors were hired by the locals to exorcise the curse placed on them by the river god, which they believed was responsible for this sudden disaster.[2]

In 1968, the cause was identified as Capillaria philippinensis.[3] Adult C. philippinensis are very small, with males measuring 1.5-3.9 mm long and 23-28 µm maximum width, while adult females are 2.3-5.3 mm long and 29-47 µm maximum width. Eggs measure 36-45 µm long and 20 µm wide, and are described as peanut-shaped with a striated shell.

This species has been transferred to the genus Aonchotheca, as Aonchotheca philippinensis,[4] and to the genus Paracapillaria, as Paracapillaria philippinensis.[5] However, this species is almost universally referred to as Capillaria philippinensis in the current medical literature.

Hosts and life cycle

The complete life cycle of C. philippinensis has been demonstrated in experimental studies, and may be either indirect (involving an intermediate host) or direct (complete in one host).[6]

Indirect life cycle. Fish-eating birds which harbor adult C. philippinensis in their intestines, shed embryonated eggs in their feces. When these eggs are fed to uninfected fish, C. philippinensis larvae are recovered from the intestines of fish. If the fish are fed to uninfested birds, the larvae develop into adults in the intestinal tract of the birds. Larvae recovered from the fish also developed into adults when fed to gerbils or monkeys, with eggs shed in the feces of these mammalian hosts. Naturally infested fish (Hypseleotris bipartita and Apagon sp.) and birds (Ixobrychus sp.) have also been found. Humans become infested when they eat raw or undercooked fish, probably small fish eaten whole, which have the infective larvae in their intestinal tract. Raw fish are commonly eaten by several of the Asian cultures in which C. philippinensis infestations have been found.

While the natural host range is not known, experimental infestations of several fishes, including Cyprinus carpio, Puntius gonionotus, Rasbora borapetensis, Eleotris melanosoma, Ambassis commersoni and Apagon sp., with C. philippinensis eggs yielded infective larvae. Experimental infestations of several birds, including Amaurornis phoenicurus, Ardeola bacchus, Nycticorax nycticorax, Bubulcus ibis, Ixobrychus sinensis, Gallinula chloropus, and Rostratula benghalensis, with larvae yielded mature adults.

Direct life cycle. Researchers also found that feeding just a few dozen larvae from the intestines of fish to Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) or monkeys (Macaca sp.) led to infestations with thousands of adult worms through "autoinfection." Autoinfection is when the offspring produced by adults can reinfest the same host, allowing the infestation to multiply within a single host animal. Both oviparous (egg-laying) and larviparous (giving birth to active larvae) adult female C. philippinensis were found in Mongolian gerbils and some birds. The experimentally infested monkeys never developed any clinical symptoms, even during prolonged, active infestations. Of several rodents tested, only Mongolian gerbils developed severe symptoms due to infestation and died.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.