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Towards the improvement of stakeholders' awareness of animal tungiasis, we report 10 unusual severe clinical cases of pig tungiasis which were associated with very high infection intensities of T. penetrans in an endemic area.
Morbidity of ten pigs with high sand flea intensities detected during high transmission seasons in an endemic area in Busoga sub region, Uganda is described in detail. The cases of pigs presented with a very high number of embedded sand fleas (median = 276, range = 141-838). Acute manifestations due to severe tungiasis included ulcerations (n = 10), abscess formation (n = 6) and lameness (n = 9). Chronic morphopathological presentations were overgrowth of claws (n = 5), lateral deviation of dew claws (n = 6), detachment (n = 5) or loss of dew claws (n = 1). Treatment of severe cases with a topical insecticidal aerosol containing chlorfenvinphos, dichlorvos and gentian violet resolved acute morbidity and facilitated healing by re-epithelialisation.
The presentations of tungiasis highlighted in this report show that high intensities of embedded T. penetrans can cause a severe clinical disease in pigs. Effective tungiasis preventive measures and early diagnosis for treatment could be crucial to minimize its effects on animal health.