Paragonimiasis is a zoonotic, food-borne trematode infection that affects around 23 million people in Asia, Africa and the Americas. North American paragonimiasis, caused by Paragonimus kellicotti, is a common infection of crustacean-feeding mammals in parts of the USA and Canada. Although infection rates in crayfish are very high in some areas, human infections are rare and depend on the consumption of raw or undercooked crayfish. Human infections can be easily prevented and treated, but proper diagnosis of paragonimiasis is a problem. Paragonimus lung flukes often cause serious disease symptoms before they produce eggs that may be detectable in sputum, bronchoalveolar lavage, stool or histological sections by microscopy or PCR. Antibodies against selected Paragonimus proteins are detectable as early as 2-3 weeks after infection. Therefore, antibody serology is the most promising diagnostic approach for paragonimiasis in North America and elsewhere.
- Paragonimus infection
- lung disease