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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


CALDERON-ARGUEDAS, Ólger  and  TROYO, Adriana. Delusional parasitosis: Clinical and Diagnostic Experience. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2012, vol.54, n.3, pp.189-192. ISSN 0001-6002.

Aim: To describe the cases of delusional parasitosis observed in the Laboratory of Medical Entomology, School of Microbiology, University of Costa Rica during 2001-2011.   Methods: Nine cases compatible with delusional parasitosis are described. The “diagnostic evidence” provided by patients as cause of their illness is also analyzed.   Results: These patients referred chronic problems on skin and scalp with signs and symptoms attributed, in their opinion, to different types of arthropods. These patients had already been evaluated by a physician and had been unsuccessful with the expected diagnosis. The samples provided included several types of arthropods, such as, psychodinae (Diptera: Psychodinae), booklice (Psocoptera), true bugs (Homoptera), flies (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha), ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Isoptera and house spiders (Arachnida: Aranea), that are irrelevant in terms of medical importance. Other materials such as grains, vegetable fibers, fibrin clots, and pieces of skin were also detected.   Discussion: We emphasize the importance of a correct diagnosis and identification of possible causes of this syndrome before administering treatment with anti-parasitic drugs

Keywords : Affective disorders; psychotic; parasite; insect; diagnosis.

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