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Korean J Parasitol > Volume 13(1):1975 > Article

Original Article
Korean J Parasitol. 1975 Jun;13(1):60-77. English.
Published online Mar 20, 1994.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.1975.13.1.60
Copyright © 1975 by The Korean Society for Parasitology
Some aspects of human sparganosis in Korea
Seung-Yull Cho,Jonghoa Bae,Byong-Seol Seo and Soon-Hyung Lee
Department of Parasitology and Institute of Endemic Diseases, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea.

Human sparganosis in Korea was discussed on the bases of five human cases experienced by the present authors and 58 case records already reported by many previous authors, in aspects of epidemiology and clinical features.

Sparganosis is not infrequent tissue helminthiasis now in Korea and the incidence has been evidently increased during past 10 years. It might be interpreted that improved medical delivery system and health care exposed the hidden but prevalent disease.

The distribution of sparganosis in Korea is apparently subdivided into three major endemic areas; Kyunggi Do, Kyungsang Do and Hamkyung Nam Do. Although scanty in other areas of Korea, the distribution of this disease is presumably throughout the whole peninsula of Korea except Cheju Do.

The majority of human cases of sparganosis in Korea has revealed raw consuming of snakes for treatment of tuberculosis, syphilis and joint pain, for tonics and for the belief of special nutrition among very limited group of Korean population. Because of this kinds of mode of infection, comprising four fifths of all cases, the majority of cases detected were male adult consisting of about 70% of total cases.

And drinking of untreated water in rural area where no protective, sanitary measures for water sources were provided in the past, seems another important causes of infection especially in women and children in Korea. Thus it may be concluded that sparganosis in Korea is concluded by eating of infective stages per os voluntarily or involuntarily, but not through the direct invasion.

Clinically, subcutaneous mass or lump was the most frequent problem in those patients and those masses were associated with inflammatory signs. By the anatomical location of the lesion, some peculiar manifestations could be developed as in orbital, abdominal, urethral, ureteral and vertebral cases. And the lesions could be complicated by haemorrhage or abscess formations.

The larval worms hitherto collected in Korea has been identified tentatively as Sparganum mansoni because neither branched larvae nor Sparganum proliferum were ever reported.


Fig. 1
Sparganum mansoni, fractured during staining with acetocarmine from Case 1.

Fig. 2
Sparganum mansoni, actively motile in warm physiological saline, from Case 2.

Fig. 3
Sparganum mansoni, collected from Case 4. Stained with acetocarmine.

Fig. 4
2 pieces of Sparganum mansoni collected by patient(Case 5). Alcohol fixed.

Fig. 5
Geographical distribution of reported Korean cases. One dot represents one reported case.


Table 1
Decennial distribution of human sparganosis repored in Korea

Table 2
Age and sex distribution of Korean cases reported

Table 3
The occupation of Korean cases

Table 4
Eating habits of raw flesh of animals and untreated water with causal relations of sparganosis in Korea among 45 verified cases

Table 5
Reasons of eating raw flesh of frogs, snakes and other kinds of fleshes in patients of sparganosis in Korea

Table 6
Location of Sparganum found in 58 Korean cases

Table 7
Clinical manifestations of 31 subcutaneous of fascial infestaion of 31 subcutaneous of fascial infestaion of Sparganum, except scrotal cases

Table 8
Clinical manifestations of 12 cases of sparganosis with scrotal involvement

Table 9
List of manifestations of sparganosis involving other than subcutaneous tissue

Table 10
Number of Sparganum mansoni recovered from 60 Korean cases

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