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Clinical Note
Nov 2012

Gongylonema: A Parasitic Nematode of the Oral Cavity

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, Illinois.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(11):1082-1084. doi:10.1001/2013.jamaoto.386

We report a rare parasitic nematode infection in a 26-year-old healthy African American man. Gongylonema nematode infections in humans are unique in their ability to localize in the submucosa of the oral cavity and oropharynx. Humans are incidental hosts for the Gongylonema nematode, which is more commonly found in rudimentary animals, birds, and rodents. Approximately 50 cases of human Gongylonema infections have been reported worldwide, including 11 documented cases in the United States.1 The pathogenesis, characteristic clinic findings, and identification features will be discussed.