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Korean J Parasitol. 2013 Dec;51(6):621-7. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2013.51.6.621. Epub 2013 Dec 31.

Paragonimus and paragonimiasis in Vietnam: an update.

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Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Viet Nam.
Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan.
Research Affairs, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Paragonimiasis is a food-borne parasitic zoonosis caused by infection with lung flukes of the genus Paragonimus. In Vietnam, research on Paragonimus and paragonimiasis has been conducted in northern and central regions of the country. Using a combination of morphological and molecular methods, 7 Paragonimus species, namely P. heterotremus, P. westermani, P. skrjabini, P. vietnamensis, P. proliferus, P. bangkokenis and P. harinasutai, have been identified in Vietnam. Of these, the first 3, P. heterotremus, P. westermani and P. skrjabini, are known to infect humans in other countries. However, in Vietnam, only P. heterotremus, found in some northern provinces, has been shown to infect humans. Even nowadays, local people in some northern provinces, such as Lai Chau and Yen Bai, are still suffering from P. heterotremus infection. In some provinces of central Vietnam, the prevalence and infection intensity of P. westermani metacercariae in freshwater crabs (the second intermediate hosts) are extremely high, but human cases have not been reported. Likewise, although P. skrjabini was found in Thanh Hoa Province, its pathogenicity to humans in Vietnam still remains uncertain. The results of molecular phylogenetic analyses of Vietnamese Paragonimus species provides new insights on the phylogeny and taxonomy of the genus Paragonimus. Comprehensive molecular epidemiological and geobiological studies on the genus in Vietnam and adjacent countries are needed to clarify the biodiversity and public health significance of the lung flukes.


Paragonimus; Paragonimus heterotremus; Paragonimus skrjabini; Paragonimus westermani; Vietnam; lungfluke; paragonimiasis

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