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Case Reports in Infectious Diseases
Volume 2013, Article ID 504749, 3 pages
Case Report

An Unexpected Cause of Eye Irritation: A Case of Zoonotic Ocular Onchocerciasis

1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center East, 2775 Mosside Boulevard, Monroeville, PA 15146, USA
2Infectious Diseases Division, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Received 19 September 2013; Accepted 7 November 2013

Academic Editors: W. I. van der Meijden and G. Walder

Copyright © 2013 Abhishek Biswas and Mohamed H. Yassin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A 19-year-old male residing in Pittsburgh presented with irritation and watering from his right eye and was diagnosed to have a right subconjunctival nodule. Surgical excision revealed both dead and living worms and histopathological staining of the worms confirmed these to be zoonotic species of Onchocerca. The morphologic characteristics of the worm suggest it to be either O. lupi or O. lienalis which were first detected in wolves and cattle, respectively. Mystery remains as to the mode of transmission and the hosts for this parasite in this part of the United States. This case adds to the growing number of cases of zoonotic ocular onchocerciasis reported from all over the world.