Tongue worm removed from teenager's eye

DOCTORS in Austria have surgically removed a tongue worm (Linguatula serrata) from a 14-year-old girl’s eye. It was discovered after she complained of progressive vision loss and soreness.

The 4.5 mm worm was found “swimming like a fish in the anterior chamber of the eye”.

“The worm escaped into the posterior segment of the eye where it was found, after lens removal and complete vitrectomy, in a recess of the ciliary body,” the doctors reported.

Intraocular infection with L. serrata is extremely rare with only five other cases described.

Two pet dogs were assumed to be the source of the infection.

Emerg Infect Dis 2011; 17:870-72