Because the structures were suspected to be pentastomes, they were compared with reference material from the Institute of Tropical Medicine Educational Department (Figure, panel B) and confirmed as Armillifer spp.
The number of reported cases of human pentastomiasis from Africa is increasing (6,8); because infection with Armillifer parasites is usually asymptomatic, we assume that the incidence of this infection is underestimated.
The pentastomes of reptiles have zoonotic potential, but among these parasites only Armillifer
, Raillietiella, and Porocephalus have been associated with human infections (Riley, 1986; Qiu et al.
La linguatulosis o pentastomiosis es una zoonosis parasitaria causada por dos especies parasitarias: Linguatula serrata y Armillifer
armillatus (Acha y Szyfres, 2003).
Linguatula serrata and Armillifer
armillatus were associated with 99% of the reported cases of human pentastomiasis (Drabick, 1987; Pare, 2008).
Armillifer parasites occupy the tracheae and bronchi of African rock pythons, puff adders and Mozambiquan spitting cobras.
Armillifer calcifications are not found in muscle, which distinguishes them from the calcified cysts of cysticercosis.
Adult Armillifer pentastomids inhabit the respiratory tract of large snakes (final hosts), where they sexually reproduce, resulting in shedding of infective ova into the environment by snake feces or respiratory secretions (5,6).
Armillifer infection in humans is diagnosed by parasitologic examination of excised complete larvae or by histologic and radiologic investigations (1).
Most human infections with these parasites are caused by Armillifer
armillatus (2), a parasite endemic to western and central Africa.
serrata and Armillifer
armillatus are responsible for most human cases of infection.
Most documented human infections are caused by members of the species Armillifer
armillatus, which cause visceral pentastomiasis in West and Central Africa (2-4).