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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 31(2):1993 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1993 Jun;31(2):99-108. English.
Published online Mar 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1993.31.2.99
Copyright © 1993 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
An epidemiological study of metagonimiasis along the upper reaches of the Namhan River
J Y Chai,*1S Huh,2J R Yu,3J Kook,1K C Jung,4E C Park,5W M Sohn,6S T Hong,1 and S H Lee1
1Department of Parasitology and Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-799, Korea.
Received April 09, 1993; Accepted April 26, 1993.


An epidemiological study of Metagonimus infection was undertaken along the upper reaches of the Namhan River, with special consideration on the species (type) of the worms collected from humans. Eggs of Metagonimus spp. were detected from 15 (9.7%) of 154 people examined in Umsong-gun, and from each infected person (5 cases) 6,015-24,060 worms (mean 13,233) were recovered after treatment with praziquantel (10 mg/kg). Eggs were also detected from 37 (48.1%) of 77 people in Yongwol-gun, from whom (27 cases) 1-4,965 worms (means 1,215) were collected. The worm from Umsong-gun consisted of both Metagonimus Miyata type and Metagonimus takahashii, whereas those from Yongwol-gun consisted of only Metagonimus Miyata type. When the uterine eggs of the two kinds and M. yokogawai (obtained from people in Tamjin River basin) were morphologically compared, it was suggested that the egg size should be a good indicator for discrimination of the species or type. The source of human infection was proved to be fresh water fishes; 49 of 52 Zacco platypus examined, 6 of 8 Hemibarbus longirostris, 13 of 15 Pseudogobio esocinus, 4 of 6 Odontobutis obscura interrupta, and 17 of 18 Carassius carassius were found infected with Metagonimus metacercariae. From the results, it is concluded that the upper reaches of the Namhan River are endemic foci of Metagonimus Miyata type and M. takahashii.


Fig. 1
Map showing the surveyed areas (area codes 1-6). 1. Hoingsong-gun (Hoingsong-up), 2. Yongwol-gun (Suju-myon), 3. Yongwol-gun (Chuchon-myon), 4. Tanyang- gun (Taehung-myon), 5. Chewon-gon (Hansu-myon), 6. Umsong-gun (Soi-myon). In the areas 3 and 6, both fecal examination of the inhabitants (H) and fish examination for Metagonimus metacercariae (F) were performed, and in the areas 1, 2, 4 and 5, only fish examination (F) was undertaken.

Figs. 2-7
Metagonimus miyata type (2-4) and M. takahashii (5-7) recovered from the inhabitants of Umsong-gun (under same magnification). 2. A fresh specimen showing the arrangement of genital organs and uterine eggs. Note the two separated testes and uterine tubule crossing the intertesticular junction, and limited distribution of the vitelline follicles near the posterior end of the body. 3. Another specimen recovered from a different person. 4. An acetocarmine stained specimen of the same type. 5. A fresh specimen showing its typical location of two testes, and abundant distribution of vitelline follicles. Also note the uterine tubule covering the left (and right) testis. 6. Another specimen recovered from a different person. 7. An acetocarmine stained specimen.

Fig. 8
The distribution patterns of the length and width of three kinds of Metagonimus eggs; M. yokogawai, Metagonimus Miyata type, and M. takahashii. Each dot represents the mean value of 10 intrauterine eggs of an adult worm.

Fig. 9
Schematic representation of three kinds of Metagonimus, showing the arrangement of genital organs; ovary (Ov), testis (T), seminal vesicle (Sv), seminal receptacle (Sr), and vitelline follicles (Vit). A: M. yokogawai, B: Metagonimus Miyata type, C: M. takahashii.


Table 1
Helminth egg positive rate by fecal examination of the inhabitants of Umsong-gun and Yongwol-gun

Table 2
Worm collection from the inhabitants after treatment with praziquantel

Table 3
Prevalence of Metagonimus sp. metacercariae in fresh water fishes collected from the upper reaches of the Namhan River

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