Medical Definition of Thelazia gulosa

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Reviewed on 2/16/2018

Thelazia gulosa: a type of worm that very rarely has been reported to infest human eyes. T. gulosa is known as the cattle eyeworm. Dogs, cattle, and horses are the usual hosts for this worm; the larvae (immature forms) are shed from the affected animal's eyes and are ingested by flies. The infested fly then transfers the larvae to the eyes of the next host. Rare cases of transmission to humans have been described, in which the larvae mature, causing adult worms to be found in the lining tissues of the human eyes. Symptoms can include irritation, excess tear production, inflammation, photophobia, and even blindness in severe cases. The condition is known as thelaziasis.

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Reviewed on 2/16/2018
References
CDC. Thelaziasis. Updated: FEb 15, 2018.
<https://www.cdc.gov/dpdx/thelaziasis/index.html>