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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 16(1):1978 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1978 Jun;16(1):47-53. English.
Published online Mar 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1978.16.1.47
Copyright © 1978 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
An ecological study of Paragonimus in Malaysia
Joung-Soon Kim
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.

An ecologic study on Paragonimus in Malaysia was attempted from May to September 1967. Seven streams located in various directions and distances from Kuala Lumpur were surveyed for the study of intermediate hosts, snail and crab. One Malayan village and one aborigine village where infected crabs were found, and two tuberculosis hospitals in K.L. were surveyed for the study of human population. Intradermal tests along with sputum or stool examination to detect human infection by Paragonimus were employed.

Wild animals, only a few, were shot in the vicinity of the aborigine village and several domestic cats from the Malayan village were bought. These animals were autopsied and examined for adult Paragonimus.

Among five species of crab collected from the study areas, only two species, Potamon jahorenes and Parathelphusa maculata were found to be infected with Paragonimus. P. maculata seemed to be better crab host for the Paragonimus because this species had higher infection rate and metacercarial density than the other in the very same area. Three out of seven streams had infected crabs and the infection rate as well as the infection intensity varied from one stream to another. Only avilable snail in the streams was identified as Brotia costula. The infection rate of the snail was very low, six snails out of 11,898, which is about the same rate reported from other countries. Infected snail, however, had thousands of rediae uncountable containing about twelve microcercocercariae in each redia, sufficient enough to maintain the life cycle of the parasite even with only a few infected snail, the amplifier.

This is the first confirmed report on the snail host of Paragonimus from Malaysia where the existence of Paragonimus had been reported in 1923.

The first trial to study human population by means of intradermal test, sputum and/or stool examinations in Malaysia showed no evidence of human infection of Paragonimus. The number of animals, wild and domestic, examined for natural infection was too small to draw any statement. These examined animals were all negative for adult Paragonimus. Even though more extensive studies on wild animals and human population may be necessary for the definite conclusion, the facts that infected crabs from jungle stream where human contacts are extreamely rare, and also highly infected crabs from the area where none of humans or domestic animals were infected, strongly suggest the life cycle of Paragonimus in this area may be maintained by wild animal hosts rather than by human host.

The morphology of all stages of the parasite, the pattern of penetrating glands, flame cells and excretroy bladder of cercaria, lancet shaped single cuticular spines and 6 branched ovary of adult worm obtained from experimentally infected cat, and the shape of egg including all measurements agree well with the characteristics of Paragonimus westermani.


Fig. 1
Paragonimus westermani in Malaysia. 2. Egg. 3. Daughter redia. 4. Microcercus cercaria. 5. Metacercaria.


Table 1
Infection status of the intermediated hoste of Paragonimus by area and species

Table 2
Experimental infection with the matacercariae of Paragonimus and the result

Table 3
Survey on human population of Paragonimus infection with intradermal test, sputum or stool examination

Table 4
Measurements of Paragonimus in various stages on 50 samples, mean and standard deviation in micron

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5. Miyazaki I. Potamiscus cognatus (Roux, 1936), a new crab host for Paragonimus westermani in Malaysia. J Parasitol 1969;55(2):459.
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7. Kim JS. A Study On The Infection Status On Intermediate Hosts By Paragonimus On Che Ju Island. Korean J Parasitol 1969;7(3):171–177.
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