Skin-nontumor / Clinical dermatology
Infestations
Tunga penetrans

Author: Mowafak Hamodat, M.D., MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC (see Authors page)

Revised: 2 June 2016, last major update July 2011

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PubMed Search: Tunga penetrans

Definition / General
  • Sand flea that burrows into human skin and skin of mammals, causing the disease tungiasis
  • Parasite is common in tropical locations (South America, Caribbean, Africa, Pakistan, west coast of India)
  • Single flea bite causes local discomfort
  • Multiple bites cause debilitation and secondary infections (tetanus, gas gangrene)
Clinical Features
  • Nodular lesion
Clinical Images

Images hosted on other servers:

Adult female, 5 mm, surgically removed

Micro Description
  • Skin biopsies show exoskeleton, hypodermal layer, trachea, digestive tract and developing eggs
  • Striated muscle in 47%, posterior end in 43%
  • Head usually absent
  • The dermis contains mixed inflammatory cell infiltrate of lymphocytes, plasma cells and eosinophils
Micro Images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images