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Cutaneous larva migrans

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Definition

noun

A skin disease in humans caused by hookworm larvae infestation, especially by Ancylostoma braziliense


Supplement

Cutaneous larva migrans literally means wandering larvae in skin. It is a skin disease affecting humans that are infested by hookworm larvae that are typically of other animal hosts, e.g. cat and dog hookworm (Ancylostoma braziliense). The larvae of this hookworm are typically acquired from exposure to contaminated beaches and moist sandy areas.

Ancylostoma braziliense is a parasitic hookworm that occupies the intestinal walls of animals, especially cats and dogs. These animals shed the hookworm eggs together with their feces to the ground. The larvae are released from the eggs upon growing into filariform. The filariform larvae are capable of burrowing through an exposed intact skin of the human host, e.g. bare foot. Because humans are only incidental hosts the larvae would not be able to penetrate fully through the skin. As a result, the larvae will wander in the upper dermis of the skin and form a tunnel underneath the skin.

Cutaneous larva migrans is characterized by having a raised, erythematous tunnel on the surface of the skin. It may also be itchy. Thiabendazole is the drug of choice.


Abbreviation / Acronym: CLM

Synonym(s):

  • tunnel disease
  • coolie itch
  • dew itch
  • ground itch
  • swamp itch
  • swimmers itch
  • toe itch
  • water itch
  • water sore
  • creeping eruption
  • plumber's itch

See also: