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Sparganosis: an under-recognised zoonosis in Australia?
  1. Quoc (Ryan) Tran1,
  2. My Co Tran2 and
  3. Daniel Mehanna1
  1. 1 Surgical Department, Caboolture Hospital, Caboolture, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 Dermatology, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Quoc (Ryan) Tran, ryantran1001{at}


Sparganosis is a rare zoonotic parasitosis that is sporadically reported worldwide. In Australia, the causative tapeworms are considered endemic in wildlife animals, however, there have been only five reported human infections. We present three additional cases of sparganosis, involving two Australian born gentlemen who have never travelled overseas and a woman who emigrated from Ethiopia. The first man presented with two unusual subcutaneous lumps that migrated along the anterior abdominal wall connected by a tunnel. The second man presented with two separate lumps, one on the thigh and the other on the left upper abdomen over a 4-week interval. The woman presented with 6 weeks of intermittent fevers, night sweats, abdominal pain and passing intestinal worms. This series of patients suggests that sparganosis is under-recognised in Australia and serves as a reminder for clinicians to the varied presentations that can be characteristic of this lesser known zoonosis.

  • tropical medicine (infectious disease)
  • general surgery

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  • Contributors QT contributed to data collection, data analysis and writing. MCT contributed to revising critically for important intellectual content. DM contributed to case conception, revising for important intellectual content and final approval of report, supervising surgeon.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.