A Rare Case of Gastrointestinal Canthariasis Caused by Alphitobius Diaperinus

  • Rina Tilak Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3781-0210
  • Anmol Sharma Base Hospital, Delhi Cantt, Delhi, India.
  • Suraj Kapoor Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
  • Swati Bajaj Department of Community Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Keywords: Alphitobius Diaperinus, Canthariasis, Gastrointestinal, Lesser Mealworm, Stool


Canthariasis is a human/ animal infestation by larval stages of coleopteran insects - the beetles. This study reports a rare case of gastrointestinal canthariasis caused by Alphitobius diaperinus.
A six-year-old boy presented with complaints of pain abdomen associated with non-bilious, non-blood-stained vomiting for 15 days and a history of passage of worm-like creatures via stools and occasionally in the vomitus. All investigations were normal barring the presence of small worm-like creatures (insect larvae) in stools on naked-eye examination. Treatment with anthelmintics did not provide any relief with continued infestation over the past 3 months. The worms in the stool were identified as larvae of lesser mealworm - Alphitobius diaperinus. Dietary history of consumption of dry fruits infested with Alphitobius diaperinus determined the source of the infestation and the diagnosis, and the appropriate management was thus initiated.
This report implicates Alphitobius diaperinus as a cause of gastrointestinal canthariasis and highlights the importance of dietary history to effectively manage gastrointestinal canthariasis.

How to cite this article:
Tilak R, Sharma A, Kapoor S, Bajaj, S. A Rare Case of Gastrointestinal Canthariasis Caused by Alphitobius Diaperinus. J Commun Dis. 2023;55(1):74-77.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24321/0019.5138.202311


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