Parasitic myositis in tropical Australia

Ron Basuroy, Robert Pennisi, Thomas Robertson, Robert Norton, John Stokes, Jon Reimers and John Archer
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (4): 254-256.

Three patients with Australian parasitic myositis caused by the muspiceoid nematode Haycocknema perplexum are described. Treatment with albendazole led to a slow and incomplete recovery, but treatment with steroids caused life-threatening deterioration.

A 23-year-old woman presented to Cairns Base Hospital with a history of 2 years of insidiously progressive weakness, including 1 year of difficulty swallowing. She weighed 42 kg, having lost 18 kg in recent years. There had been no myalgia.

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  • Ron Basuroy1
  • Robert Pennisi2
  • Thomas Robertson2
  • Robert Norton3
  • John Stokes4
  • Jon Reimers3
  • John Archer5,6,1

  • 1 Department of Medicine, Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns, QLD.
  • 2 Department of Anatomical Pathology, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 3 Department of Medicine, Townsville Hospital, Townsville, QLD.
  • 4 Department of Intensive Care, Mater Hospital, Townsville, QLD.
  • 5 Department of Medicine, James Cook University, Cairns and Townsville, QLD.
  • 6 Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.



We thank Dr Philip Marshall for clinical care of Patient 1 and for assistance with manuscript preparation.

Competing interests:

None identified.

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  • 2. Dennett X, Siejka SJ, Andrews JR, et al. Polymyositis caused by a new genus of nematode. Med J Aust 1998; 168: 226-227.
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  • 7. Spratt DM, Gill PA. Durikainema phascolarcti n. sp. (Nematoda: Muspiceoidea: Robertdollfusidae) from the pulmonary arteries of the koala Phascolarctos cinereus with associated pathological changes. Syst Parasitol 1998; 39: 101-106.


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