is a genus of obligate parasites belonging to the Pentastomida subclass that was first described as a cause of human disease in 1847. Human infection by Armillifer
is rare and not widely known. These parasites are transmitted to humans by handling or eating undercooked meat from infected snakes, which are the definitive hosts, or oral uptake of environmental ova. The aim of this systematic review was to record all available evidence regarding infections by Armillifer
in humans. A systematic review of PubMed (through 21 December 2018) for studies providing epidemiological, clinical, microbiological, as well as treatment data and outcomes of Armillifer
infections was conducted. A total of 26 studies, containing data of 40 patients, were eventually included in the analysis. The most common sites of infection were the peritoneal cavity, the liver, the lower respiratory and the abdominal tract. The commonest infecting species was A. armillatus
and most patients were asymptomatic; however, when symptoms occurred, the commonest was abdominal pain, even though unusual presentations occurred, such as hepatic encephalopathy or neurologic symptoms. Most cases were diagnosed at surgery or by imaging, and most patients were not treated. Mortality was low, but the majority of the cases with ocular infection lead to permanent loss of vision.
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