Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 404--405

External ophthalmomyiasis due to Oestrus ovis

Parthopratim Dutta Majumder1, Pankaj Jeswani1, Narayanaperumal Jeyathilakan2, Jyotirmay Biswas1,  
1 Department of Uvea Medical and Vision Research Foundations, Sankara Nethralaya, 18, College Road, Nungambakkam, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Madras Veterinary College, Vepery, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Parthopratim Dutta Majumder
Department of Uvea, Sankara Nethralaya, 18, College Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai - 600 006, Tamil Nadu


How to cite this article:
Dutta Majumder P, Jeswani P, Jeyathilakan N, Biswas J. External ophthalmomyiasis due to Oestrus ovis.Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:404-405

How to cite this URL:
Dutta Majumder P, Jeswani P, Jeyathilakan N, Biswas J. External ophthalmomyiasis due to Oestrus ovis. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Sep 27 ];67:404-405
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 Case Report

A 58-year-old male presented with redness and irritation in the right eye for a week. His best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 6/6 in both eyes. He denied any history of foreign body entry into the eye, contact with livestock or recent history of swimming. Slit-lamp examination of the right eye revealed hyperemia of the bulbar and palpebral conjunctiva, quiet anterior chamber and a clear cornea. There were multiple spindle-shaped translucent larvae wriggling over bulbar conjunctiva and tarsal conjunctiva [Figure 1]a. They were trying to disappear towards fornices on shining the slit-lamp light. Under slit-lamp, total eight larvae were removed with the help of forceps under topical anaesthesia. It is worth mentioning was noted that removal with cotton-tipped applicator was not successful as the larvae tend to attach tightly to the conjunctiva. All these larvae were put in normal saline and in 70% alcohol and were sent to laboratory. He was started on a topical anti-microbial agent (ciprofloxacin 0.3%). Microscopic examination revealed spindle-shaped skeleton with a pair of sharply curved fuscous brown oral hooks at the anterior end [Figure 1]b and [Figure 1]c. Based on the morphology, they were identified as first instar larvae of Oestrus ovis.{Figure 1}


Oestrus ovis, commonly known assheep nasal botfly, is a worldwide parasite that usually infests the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses of sheep, goats, cattle and horses.[1] Humans are the accidental hosts and Oestrus ovis larvae have been mainly reported to cause external ophthalmomyiasis by various authors.[1–3] External ophthalmomyiasis due to Oestrus ovis usually manifests with conjunctivitis-like clinical picture.[4] These larvae have been reported to cause significant conjunctival eosinophilic infiltrations leading to non-necrotising granulomatous inflammation and eosinophil degranulation which can further lead to epithelial cell damage and goblet cell secretion.[5] Thus, presentation with itching, foreign body sensation and a watery-mucopurulent discharge is not uncommon and disease can easily be misdiagnosed as conjunctivitis.[4] Oestrus ovis larvae are unable to penetrate cornea or sclera as they lack the ability to secrete proteolytic enzymes.[5] However, Oestrus ovis larvae have been reported to present with keratitis[6] and keratouveitis.[7] Thus, early removal of the larvae is very important in patients with external ophthalmomyiasis.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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