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Cutaneous Larva Migrans

Cutaneous Larva Migrans is a topic covered in the Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics.

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Infestation of the epidermis by the infectious larvae of certain nematodes, classically manifesting with an intensely pruritic, serpiginous skin lesion


Worldwide distribution, but most frequent in warmer climates, including the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and southeastern United States

Risk Factors

  • Contracted from soil contaminated with dog and cat feces
  • Occupational exposures occur from crawling under buildings, such as among plumbers and pipefitters.


  • Route of spread
    • Primary host (dog or cat) passes eggs to ground through feces.
    • Warm, sandy soil acts as an incubator.
    • Eggs mature into rhabditiform larvae (noninfectious), which molt in 5 days to filariform larvae (infectious).
  • Humans are accidental hosts.
  • Filariform larvae penetrate the epidermis either through hair follicles or fissures or through intact skin with the use of proteases.
  • Larvae are unable to penetrate the basement membrane of the dermis; therefore, the infection remains limited to the epidermis.
  • Larvae cannot complete their life cycle in the human host and die within weeks to months.
  • Symptoms are due to hypersensitivity to the organism or its excreta.


  • Most common organism is the dog or cat hookworm, Ancylostoma braziliense.
  • Other species include Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, and Bunostomum phlebotomum.

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Cabana, Michael D., editor. "Cutaneous Larva Migrans." Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics, 7th ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2015. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14205/all/Cutaneous_Larva_Migrans.
Cutaneous Larva Migrans. In: Cabana MD, ed. Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics. 7th ed. Wolters Kluwer Health; 2015. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14205/all/Cutaneous_Larva_Migrans. Accessed April 24, 2019.
Cutaneous Larva Migrans. (2015). In Cabana, M. D. (Ed.), Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics. Available from https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14205/all/Cutaneous_Larva_Migrans
Cutaneous Larva Migrans [Internet]. In: Cabana MD, editors. Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics. Wolters Kluwer Health; 2015. [cited 2019 April 24]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14205/all/Cutaneous_Larva_Migrans.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Cutaneous Larva Migrans ID - 14205 ED - Cabana,Michael D, BT - Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14205/all/Cutaneous_Larva_Migrans PB - Wolters Kluwer Health ET - 7 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -