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January 1964

Chorioretinopathy and Toxoplasmosis: An Epidemiologic Study on a South Pacific Island

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md
EIS Officer (Dr. Darrell), Surgeon, USPHS (Dr. Pieper), Chief (Dr. Kurland), Epidemiology Branch, Chief (Dr. Jacobs), Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.; Present address: Institute of Ophthalmology, 635 West 165th St, New York 32, NY (Dr. Darrell); Department of Neurology, Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston 25, Tex (Dr. Pieper).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(1):63-68. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010079011

An ophthalmological survey in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1953 disclosed that on the atoll of Truk nearly one quarter of 287 natives examined had evidence of nonspecific chorioretinal degeneration.1,2 On the basis of the ophthalmoscopic appearance alone an etiological diagnosis was impossible and no eyes could be enucleated for pathologic examination. However, the similarity of the geographic distribution of chorioretinal disease on Truk and of filariasis as noted in a survey of Micronesia3 was proposed as evidence of a relationship between the two diseases.1,2 Although chorioretinal lesions have been described in infections with Onchocerca, the filarial organism endemic in tropical America and Africa,4-7 little is known about eye lesions caused by Wuchereria, the only type of filaria common in the South Pacific.8,9

Because chorioretinitis has been repeatedly associated with infection by Toxoplasma,10-14 a survey of 192 natives on Truk was

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