Severe tungiasis in northwest Tanzania: a case series

Main Article Content

Humphrey D. Mazigo
Emmanuel Bahemana
Ocimund Dyegura
Ladslaus L. Mnyone
Eliningaya J. Kweka
Maria Zinga
Eveline T. Konje
Rebecca Waihenyakeni
Jorg Heukelbach *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Jorg Heukelbach |


Tungiasis is caused by infestation with the sand flea (Tunga penetrans). This ectoparasitosis is endemic in economically depressed communities in South American and African countries. However, data on the epidemiology of tungiasis in Tanzania are very limited and the disease does not receive much attention from health care professionals. During a community cross sectional survey in northwest Tanzania, we identified five individuals extremely infested with high number of parasites. A total of 435 lesions were recorded with patients presenting with >75 lesions and showed signs of intense acute and chronic inflammation. Superinfection of the lesions characterized by pustule formation, suppuration and ulceration were common. Loss of nails and walking difficulty was also observed. In Tanzanian communities living under extreme poverty characterized by poor housing condition and inadequate health services, tungiasis may cause severe morbidities. Further studies on risk factors and disease-related behavior of affected populations are needed to design adequate control measures.

Downloads month by month


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Humphrey D. Mazigo, Weill-Bugando University

Department of Medical Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Medicine

Emmanuel Bahemana, Weill-Bugando University

College of Health Sciences

Ocimund Dyegura, Weill-Bugando University

College of Health Sciences

Ladslaus L. Mnyone, Sokoine University of Agriculture

Pest Management Center

Eliningaya J. Kweka, Tropical Pesticides Research Institute

Division of Livestock and Human Disease Vector Control

Maria Zinga, Weill-Bugando University

Department of Medical Parasitology and Entomology, Faculty of Medicine

Eveline T. Konje, Weill-Bugando University

Department of Community Medicine

Rebecca Waihenyakeni, Jomo Kenyatta University

Department of Zoology

Jorg Heukelbach, Federal University of Ceará

Department of Community Health, School of Medicine