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Muslims, Blacks Bring New

From Patricia Doyle

This parasite is carried by fleas and also by the type of fruit fly that is found in the UK.  

My guess is either a refugee had the infection or a pet they brought to UK from EU had it.  In any event it is now in the UK.  Probably from refugees sneaking into the UK from France, probably Calais.   Now it is in the UK

Source: Birmingham Mail

A potentially deadly eye infection caused by a parasitic worm is posing a significant threat to dogs in the UK.

Dog owners are being warned over _Thelazia callipaeda_, commonly referred to as oriental eye worm. The disease [appears] when a fruit fly lands on the eyes and lays infective larvae.

People, as well as cats and dogs, can catch the infection from the flies as they feed off eye secretions.

You can report dirty dog owners to your local council who aim to respond within one working day.

Veterinary expert John Graham-Brown, from Liverpool University, told the Veterinary Record that Britain has the same type of fruit fly that can transmit the infection.

He said: "So far, there has been only one strain of the infection round in Europe. But it's been spreading quite rapidly recently. We are not sure why.

"We do have this type of fly in the UK as well, so there is the potential for an infected dog to come back and give it to the fly here, and then it could spread."

It was 1st discovered in the eyes of a dog in China in 1910. By 2000, over 250 human cases had been reported in the medical literature.

Symptoms include conjunctivitis, excessive watering, visual impairment, and ulcers or scarring of the cornea. In some cases, the only symptom is the worm obscuring the host's vision as a "floater."

Byline: James Rodger
Birmingham Mail

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[The cited paper is: Graham-Brown J, Gilmore P, Colella V et al. Three cases of imported eyeworm infection in dogs: a new threat for the United Kingdom. Veterinary Record published online September 4, 2017.

The paper describes 3 recent cases in dogs residing in the UK, infested in Romania, Italy and France. ProMED-mail has not addressed in the past this zoonotic parasite.

For subscribers' convenience, we herewith copy the paper's abstract and its educative introduction (for the omitted references, please refer to the original text at the above URL):

In July 2016, we described the 1st known case of canine ocular thelaziosis in the UK in a dog recently imported from Romania. Here we confirm our initial diagnosis using PCR followed by sequence analysis, and we report a further 2 clinical cases in dogs with recent history of travel to Italy and France. In view of the presence in the UK of the vector for _Thelazia callipaeda_, namely Phortica spp, we discuss the significance of these 3 cases in the context of the UK government's pet travel scheme, disease control and both animal and public health in the UK".


_Thelazia callipaeda_ (Spirurida, Thelaziidae) is a vectorborne, zoonotic nematode capable of infecting a range of mammalian host species including dogs, cats and human beings, as well as several sylvatic species. The risks of introducing such parasitic agents to the UK posed by importation and/or travel of dogs abroad have been raised and illustrated on multiple occasions, while widespread media reports of large-scale illegal importation of dogs to the UK are clearly also of concern.

Adult _T callipaeda_ reside in the eyes and associated tissues, including the conjunctival fornices, nictitating membrane, sclera and cornea, and the lacrimal glands of the definitive host. Infected animals show a variety of clinical presentations, from subclinical carriage through to mild (eg, epiphora, conjunctivitis and chemosis) and severe pathology including corneal ulceration, which, if untreated, can lead to complications including secondary infections and blindness. _T callipaeda_ is sensitive to both milbemycin and moxidectin, with commercially available oral and spot-on applications shown to be effective treatment options.

_T callipaeda_, also referred to as 'the oriental eye worm', is increasingly common in Europe, with autochthonous transmission confirmed in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece, with further cases reported in Belgium and Serbia. In some locations, such as the Basilicata region of Italy, infection is hyperendemic, with the reported prevalence in dogs exceeding 40 per cent. Furthermore, cases of human ocular thelaziosis in Spain, Italy, France, Croatia and Serbia demonstrate the parasite's zoonotic potential.

The intermediate host of _T callipaeda_ in Europe has been identified as the male drosophilid fruit fly _Phortica variegata_. These flies are both anthropophilic and zoophilic, transmitting the infective larval stages while feeding on lacrimal secretions. Studies have shown these flies are generally located in areas of oak woodland, with peak activity at 20-25 C [68-77 F] and 50-75 per cent relative humidity. Development within the intermediate host may, under optimal conditions, be as short as 14 days, which combined with a prepatent period of 4 to 8 weeks in the definitive host means that the peak transmission of _T callipaeda_ is typically late summer/early autumn in Mediterranean countries.

The UK government's pet travel scheme (PETS) facilitates the travel of dogs to and from countries in the EU without the need for quarantine. In its current form owners are required to fulfil a number of specific requirements before and during travel abroad in order to ensure the implementation and documentation of control measures designed to prevent the importation of non-endemic zoonotic pathogens, specifically rabies and _Echinococcus multilocularis_ ( Given the relatively free and regular movement of dogs into and out of the UK from mainland Europe and importation from rescue charities under this scheme, other pathogens, including _T callipaeda_, pose a significant threat to the UK canine population."

Interested subscribers are encouraged to download the paper at (open access). - Mod.AS

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