Capillaria philippinensis: A Cause of Fatal Diarrhea in One of Two Infected Egyptian Sisters

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Capillaria philippinensis is an emerging infection in Egypt. Reports in children are scarce. We report here two sisters with C. philippinensis infection, aged 8 and 12 years. Their father was a fisherman and they had a habit of picking small pieces of uncooked fish to eat while their mother prepared their meals. They came from El-Menia governorate, which lies in the northern part of Upper Egypt. Most reported cases from Egypt come from this governorate and nearby areas. Both sisters had persistent profuse watery diarrhea of 12 months' duration. Their weights were below the 5th percentile for age. Both were hypoalbuminemic, but only the younger had pedal edema. Both had hypokalemia and hyponatremia. During the course of their illness they were repeatedly admitted to different hospitals and received intravenous fluids, but the correct diagnosis was not reached. Diagnosis was made by stool examination at our hospital when eggs and larvae were detected in stool samples. Although a diagnosis was promptly made, the older sister who suffered from pneumonia and septic shock unfortunately died a few days after admission. The younger sister was treated successfully with albendazole 200 mg twice daily. Diarrhea abated, pedal edema disappeared, and she started to gain weight.

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