An Oregon woman with a rare eye infection may be the first human to have contracted a parasitic infection spread by flies, a scientific report released Monday said.
Abby Beckley, 26, had the worms removed from her left eye in August 2016, scientists said in a report published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
A total of 14 worms were removed from the patient’s left eye and were morphologically identified as being Thelazia gulosa. Until now, only two species of Thelazia have been implicated in causing human disease, Thelazia callipaeda in Asia and Europe and occasional reports of Thelazia californiensis from the United States of America. Here, we describe a third, previously unreported parasite of humans, T. gulosa (the cattle eyeworm) as an agent of human thelaziasis and the first reported case of human thelaziasis in North America in over two decades.