Case Report: Severe Infestation with Tungiasis in a Coastal Community in Badagry Lagos, Nigeria.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Yaba College of Technology Yaba, Lagos - Department of Zoology, Osun State University, Osogbo Osun.

2 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos

3 Department of Biotechnology and Microbiology, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Yaba Lagos

4 Department of Zoology, Osun State University, Osogbo Osun.

5 Department of Zoology, Osun State University, Osogbo Osun


Tungiasis is an ectoparasitic infection caused by the invasion of the skin of a man, dog, pig, or bird with gravid female Tunga species. Prevalence may reach up to 50% in impoverished areas of South America, the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. Very severe cases characterized by more than 30 embedded sand fleas may be found but are not common. Few studies have been done in Nigeria, and in endemic communities of Lagos, a prevalence as high as 45.2% has been reported. We hereby report a severe case of Tungiasis in Ilaje, an endemic community in the Badagry Local Government area of Lagos during an active surveillance conducted between August 2021 to May 2022 involving Eighteen (18) communities. This case is a 54-year-old male farmer who presented with pain, inflammation, ulceration, and deformation of digits, heels and soles of his limbs. He reported a burning sensation, and pruritus and was observed to have difficulties in walking which was evidenced by a noticeable totter. Embedded fleas in clusters numbering between 30 to 60 per limb were extracted by manual removal and the wounds were treated topically. Tungiasis morbidity often leads to poor health and impoverishment. Although tungiasis is rare in nonendemic areas, however, with the increased travel and opening up of Badagry as a seaport and tourist site, this ectoparasite may further be disseminated if still neglected. It is therefore imperative to investigate the occurrence, create awareness and implementation of preventive measures among local inhabitants. Physicians should be familiarized with this infestation for easy diagnosis and treatment.