Confirming Hypoderma tarandi (Diptera: Oestridae) human ophthalmomyiasis by larval DNA barcoding

Bjørn Rukke 1 , Symira Cholidis 2 , Arild Johnsen 3  and Preben Ottesen 1
  • 1 Department of Pest Control, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Lovisenberggata 8, 0456, Oslo, Norway
  • 2 Department of Ophthalmology, Oslo University Hospital, Kirkeveien 166, 0450, Oslo, Norway
  • 3 Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Sars gate 1, 0562, Oslo, Norway


DNA barcoding is a practical tool for species identification, when morphological classification of an organism is difficult. Herein we describe the utilisation of this technique in a case of ophthalmomyiasis interna. A 12-year-old boy was infested during a summer holiday in northern Norway, while visiting an area populated with reindeer. Following medical examination, a Diptera larva was surgically removed from the boy’s eye and tentatively identified from its morphological traits as Hypoderma tarandi (L.) (Diptera: Oestridae). Ultimately, DNA barcoding confirmed this impression. The larval cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) DNA sequence was matched with both profiles of five adult H. tarandi from the same region where the boy was infested, and other established profiles of H. tarandi in the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) identification engine.

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