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   Table of Contents      
Year : 1973  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-35

Parasite in the anterior chamber of the eye. A case report

1 Municipal Eye Hospital, Kamathipura, Bombay, India
2 B.Y.L. Nair Hospital and Topiwala National Medical College, Bombay, India

Correspondence Address:
R D Bhagwat
Municipal Eye Hospital, Kamathipura, Bombay
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 4793006

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How to cite this article:
Bhagwat R D, Rao L K, Deodhar L P. Parasite in the anterior chamber of the eye. A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol 1973;21:34-5

How to cite this URL:
Bhagwat R D, Rao L K, Deodhar L P. Parasite in the anterior chamber of the eye. A case report. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1973 [cited 2020 Nov 27];21:34-5. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1973/21/1/34/31420

  Introduction Top

Presence of a parasite in the eye makes the case very interesting. This is so because parasites are not found in the eye frequently. It seems that Microfilaria bancrofti is the parasite which frequently finds its way to the eye compared to other parasites. In­cidentally it is interesting to note that the other variety of filaria namely the "Filaria Loa" is referred to, as `th­e eye worm' by Manson-Bahr in his book on tropical diseases.

  Case Report Top

A hindu female aged 60 years re­ported to O.P.D. with the complaints of watering and redness in her right eye for 2 days. On direct questioning this patient admitted that she was having the sensation of something moving in front of her right eye for 15 days previously.

On examination, the right eye had ciliary congestion. The pupil was re­acting briskly to light. Vision was 6/12 without glasses. A live parasite was seen wriggling in the anterior chamber.

Slit lamp examination showed that, the parasite was not adherent to the iris at any of its ends. When light was thrown directly on the parasite it coiled away from the light. When the light was taken away from it, it un­coiled itself and started wriggling again in the anterior chamber.

The left eye was normal.

Systemic examination did not reveal anything abnormal. There were no swellings on the body.


Her haemogram showed nothing abnormal except a eosinophil count of 6%. Mid-night sample of the peri­pheral blood did not show any para­sites.

  Operation Top

A small puncture was made at 9 o'clock position with a Ziegler's needle and a wide bore hypodermic needle at­tached to a syringe was inserted in the anterior chamber with a view to suck out the parasite in the syringe along with the aqueous humour. In attempt­ing to do so the parasite got washed out of the anterior chamber with the gush of aqueous. It was seen wrigging in the conjunctival sac. It was picked up and placed in a bulb of normal saline and was taken to the pathology department for further studies.

  Discussion Top

On examination of the worm under the microscope, it was found to be the adult female of Wuchereria Ban­crofti. Wuchereria Bancrofti occurs in tropical and sub-tropical countries. It is extremely common in India, South East Asia and South China. Culex fatigans is supposed to be its carrier.

The male (4 cm by 0.1 mm) is a long hair like transparent nematode; found in lymphatic vessels and glands.

It has a cork screw tail and two spicules. It has a short thick proximal and a whip like distal portion ending in a hook.

The female (6.5 to 10 cm by 0.2 to 0.28 mm) has a tapering anterior end with rounded swelling. The vulva is 0.8 mm behind the anterioi extre­mity. A swollen vagina leads into the uterus which divides into two tubuli, which are much coiled, occupying greater part of the body. Two ova­ries and ducts extend to within 1 mm of the tail.

K. C. Chhatterji has reported a case of worm in the anterior chamber of the eye. He feels it was W. Bancrofti.

(Unfortunately the worm was lost in the attempt of removal and the diag­nosis could not be confirmed). He has mentioned a case report by Nayar and Pillai where the worm came into anterior chamber of the eye after re­maining in the vitreous chamber for 19 days. He has also mentioned a case reported by Wright wherein para­site in the anterior chamber led to iri­docylitis with exudates in anterior and vitreous chamber, optic neuritis and haemorrhages in the retina. The in­flammation subsided and the eye re­turned to normal after removal of the parasite.

In our case, however, the parasite did not give rise to any inflammatory changes. The eye returned to normal after the removal of the parasite.

Chhatterji feels that the worm might have come into the eye by burrowing through the coats of the eye. It is however possible that the worm en­tered the anterior chamber in the lar­val stage from the blood vessel (pos­sibly the vessels of the iris) and grew to adulthood there.

  Acknowledgements Top

Our thanks are due to Dr. S. M. Sathe and Dr. S. J. Bhatt of Munici­pal Eye Hospital, Kamathipura, Bombay.

Our thanks are also due to Dr. Dholakia and Dr. Lele of Nair Hos­pital Dental College for their valuable help in microphotographing the worm.


  [Figure - 1]


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