Swimmer's itch is caused by the penetration of free-swimming larvae of trematodes of the family Schistosomatidae in human skin. It is usually reported in people engaged in recreational water activities in freshwater bodies and in most of cases, it is provoked by bird schistosomes of the genus Trichobilharzia. In the summer 2017, many cases of dermatitis were recorded in people bathing in the waters of the Albano Lake (Rome, Italy) and a parasitological investigation was carried out in order to ascertain the causative agent of these cases. Snails of the family Lymnaeidae, natural intermediate hosts of bird schistosomes, were collected from lake shallow waters to detect the presence of trematodes of the genus Trichobilharzia. Pools of maximum 10 snails were placed in Petri dishes, and cercarial emergence was stimulated exposing snails to strong artificial light intensity at 25°C. Three hundred and thirty-seven snails were collected and screened for the shedding of cercariae. Furcocercariae of the family Schistosomatidae, with a morphology overlapping that of the genus Trichobilharzia, were detected in seven Petri dishes. Assuming that in each positive Petri dish just one snail was shedding furcocercariae, the minimum infectious rate was 2.1%. Molecular analysis of furcocercariae allowed ascribing them to the species Trichobilharzia franki. Snails of the species Radix auricularia were identified as intermediate hosts of the parasite. This is the second record of T. franki causing cercarial dermatitis in Central Italy, the third in Italy. The 2017 was in Italy exceptionally warm and dry. Trematodes are sensitive to changes in temperature, being cercarial production and emission rates temperature dependent. Small increases in water temperature would speed up parasite development and transmission, leading to a manifold increase in cercarial emergence. Moreover, high temperatures raise chances to acquire the infection, due to increased time spent in water by people.

De Liberato, C., Berrilli, F., Bossu, T., Magliano, A., Montalbano Di Filippo, M., Di Cave, D., et al. (2019). Outbreak of swimmer's itch in Central Italy: Description, causative agent and preventive measures. ZOONOSES AND PUBLIC HEALTH [10.1111/zph.12570].

Outbreak of swimmer's itch in Central Italy: Description, causative agent and preventive measures

Berrilli F.;Montalbano Di Filippo M.;Di Cave D.;
2019

Abstract

Swimmer's itch is caused by the penetration of free-swimming larvae of trematodes of the family Schistosomatidae in human skin. It is usually reported in people engaged in recreational water activities in freshwater bodies and in most of cases, it is provoked by bird schistosomes of the genus Trichobilharzia. In the summer 2017, many cases of dermatitis were recorded in people bathing in the waters of the Albano Lake (Rome, Italy) and a parasitological investigation was carried out in order to ascertain the causative agent of these cases. Snails of the family Lymnaeidae, natural intermediate hosts of bird schistosomes, were collected from lake shallow waters to detect the presence of trematodes of the genus Trichobilharzia. Pools of maximum 10 snails were placed in Petri dishes, and cercarial emergence was stimulated exposing snails to strong artificial light intensity at 25°C. Three hundred and thirty-seven snails were collected and screened for the shedding of cercariae. Furcocercariae of the family Schistosomatidae, with a morphology overlapping that of the genus Trichobilharzia, were detected in seven Petri dishes. Assuming that in each positive Petri dish just one snail was shedding furcocercariae, the minimum infectious rate was 2.1%. Molecular analysis of furcocercariae allowed ascribing them to the species Trichobilharzia franki. Snails of the species Radix auricularia were identified as intermediate hosts of the parasite. This is the second record of T. franki causing cercarial dermatitis in Central Italy, the third in Italy. The 2017 was in Italy exceptionally warm and dry. Trematodes are sensitive to changes in temperature, being cercarial production and emission rates temperature dependent. Small increases in water temperature would speed up parasite development and transmission, leading to a manifold increase in cercarial emergence. Moreover, high temperatures raise chances to acquire the infection, due to increased time spent in water by people.
Online ahead of print
Rilevanza internazionale
Articolo
Esperti anonimi
Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali
English
Radix auricularia; Trichobilharzia franki; Italy; dermatitis; furcocercariae; swimmer's itch
De Liberato, C., Berrilli, F., Bossu, T., Magliano, A., Montalbano Di Filippo, M., Di Cave, D., et al. (2019). Outbreak of swimmer's itch in Central Italy: Description, causative agent and preventive measures. ZOONOSES AND PUBLIC HEALTH [10.1111/zph.12570].
De Liberato, C; Berrilli, F; Bossu, T; Magliano, A; Montalbano Di Filippo, M; Di Cave, D; Sigismondi, M; Cannavacciuolo, A; Scaramozzino, P
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2108/210355
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