Morphological observations and the effects of artificial digestive fluids on the survival of Diploscapter coronata from a Japanese patient

J Helminthol. 2006 Dec;80(4):341-8. doi: 10.1017/joh2006361.


Unusual non-human parasitic nematodes and eggs were detected in the faeces of an 8-year-old Japanese female suffering from Henoch-Schönlein purpura. The worms were adult female rhabditiform nematodes measuring 325.6-441.2 micro m in length and 18.3-26.5 micro m in width. One pair of the labia oris was notched with many spiny projections, while the other pair was strongly curved outwards. The worms were identified using light and scanning electron microscopy as the free-living nematode Diploscapter coronata (Cobb) based on their characteristic morphology. The patient's faeces containing worms and eggs were cultured using a filter-paper culture technique and after 7 days of culture, male as well as female worms were recovered. Worm survival time and hatchability of the eggs were examined in vitro after treatment with an artificial gastric or intestinal fluid. Although adult worms survived for less than one minute, eggs hatched after treatment with artificial gastric fluid. This suggests that eggs accidentally ingested or produced by adult D. coronata could develop in the human gastro-intestinal tract. Some morphological features of male D. coronata are also described.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Eggs
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Gastric Juice
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Secretions
  • Japan
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Parasitology / methods
  • Rhabditida / anatomy & histology*
  • Rhabditida / ultrastructure
  • Rhabditida Infections / transmission