Lefika Bathobakae, Tyler Wilkinson, Saif Yasin, Rammy Bashir, Nargis Mateen, Ruhin Yuridullah, Yana Cavanagh, Walid Baddoura, Jin Suh

An Unpleasant Souvenir: Whipworm as an Incidental Finding During a Screening Colonoscopy

  • Safety Research
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Epidemiology

Trichuriasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by Trichuris trichiura that spreads through the ingestion of embryonated eggs in contaminated soil, water, or food. In nonendemic areas, T trichiura infestation is very rare and sporadic and is often diagnosed in immigrants from endemic countries such as the Philippines. Whipworms feed on human blood and also erode the colonic mucosa, thereby evoking an inflammatory response. In milder forms, trichuriasis can be asymptomatic and often an incidental diagnosis on screening colonoscopy. Heavily infested patients usually present with abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, tenesmus, chronic diarrhea, iron deficiency anemia, or stunted growth. T trichiura worms can be removed with biopsy forceps during a colonoscopy; however, most patients require a course of albendazole, mebendazole, or ivermectin. We describe a unique case of T trichiura as an incidental finding during a screening colonoscopy. The whipworms were retrieved using biopsy forceps and the patient was treated with albendazole. At the time of the colonoscopy, the patient did not exhibit any specific symptoms related to the worm infestation.

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