Case #204 – May, 2007
A mother found objects that she thought were maggots in the diaper of her 10-month-old child. She submitted the specimens to her state health department for identification and advice. Figures A and B show the submitted specimens using a low power dissecting microscope. The smaller white objects were released when one of the specimens was dissected, and two of the objects are shown in Figures C and D at 400× magnification using a compound microscope. These objects measured 200-250 micrometers and contained individual structures measuring approximately 40 micrometers. Digital images were captured and sent to DPDx for confirmation. What is your diagnosis? Based on what criteria?
The objects shown in this case were proglottids and egg packets of Dipylidium caninum, the dog tapeworm. Diagnostic features included:
- mature proglottids (Figures A and B).
- egg packets (Figures C and D) that were teased out of the proglottids. Microscopic examination of the egg packets confirmed the presence of many eggs, each having an oncosphere. The hooklets are visible in some of the eggs.
- egg size that was consistent with D. caninum.
More on: D. caninum
This case and images were kindly contributed by the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health.
Images presented in the DPDx case studies are from specimens submitted for diagnosis or archiving. On rare occasions, clinical histories given may be partly fictitious.
DPDx is an educational resource designed for health professionals and laboratory scientists. For an overview including prevention, control, and treatment visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/.