Ocular infestation by a juvenile leech, Myxobdella sinanensis in Japan

Yoshikazu Ito, Takafumi Nakano, Mutsuko Ohara, Eisuke Shimizu, Yoko Ogawa, Kazuno Negishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The case of ocular infestation by a leech is rare. We reported that Myxobdella sinanensis infests conjunctiva. Observations: A 5-year-old girl presented with blood clots in the inner corner of the left eye, and a history bloody eye discharge and bloody tears for 5 days. She was prescribed 0.5% levofloxacin ophthalmic drops for conjunctival damage. However, her parent watched a worm moving in her conjunctiva while taking a bath. She presented again the same day, and a worm was found in the left eye of the lower conjunctival fornix and was adsorbed to the inner corner. We removed a worm under eye drop anesthesia, the next day the patient had no symptoms. We captured the worm, and it was identified morphologically and genetically as Myxobdella sinanensis. This was the first case reported of Myxobdella sinanensis be infestation in a human. Conclusions and Importance: The ecological trait of Myxobdella sinanensis still did not remain clear, so this case report was helpful to find out a life cycle of Myxobdella sinanensis. As the outdoor population continues to increase, the cases of human parasites such as leech are expected to increase. When a patient with bloody eye discharge and bloody tears presents, we should carefully examine the conjunctiva and ocular surfaces, and interview recent history of exposure to stream water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101389
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar


  • Leech
  • Myxobdella sinanensis
  • Ocular infestation
  • Parasite
  • Praobdellidae
  • Worm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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