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J Infect Dis. 2003 Jun 15;187(12):1962-6. Epub 2003 May 29.

Lethal invasive cestodiasis in immunosuppressed patients.

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Parasitic Worms Division, Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.


Using both traditional methods and broad-range 18S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) polymerase chain reaction, we examined 2 cases of lethal cestodiasis, in which the disease agent had been poorly identified or misidentified. In one case, involving a patient with AIDS, we identified the human dwarf tapeworm, Hymenolepis nana, as a cause of aberrant metastatic larval disease. In the second case with similar pathologic abnormalities, involving a patient with Hodgkin disease, we identified a larval cestode with a previously uncharacterized 18S rDNA sequence. A prior report of this case nearly 30 years ago, based on tissue examination, had suggested that the parasite was a sparganum.

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