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Imported Jigger

Joyce Akwe, Chinedu Ivonye, Marsheleen Henriques-Forsythe, Tatah Fongeh

Am J Case Rep 2008; 9:382-384

ID: 869299

Available online:

Published: 2008-09-22

Background: Jigger is an infestation by the burrowing flea, Tunga penetrans or related species. Jigger is the most common name for Tungiasis, also known as the following: chigoe flea, pigue, nigua, pico, bicho de pie, bug of the foot, Tunga penetrans, T penetrans.
Case Report: A Fifty-six year old African American woman who just returned from Cameroon, West Africa presented to the clinic with a black nodular lesion on the left foot. The lesion started as a black spot in her left foot, associated with a sharp pain. The spot progressed within a few days to a black nodular, pruritic, painless lesion.
Conclusions: The jigger flea is indigenous to the West Indies/Caribbean region, but it has spread to Africa, India, Pakistan, and Latin America. Travelers to endemic areas may import cases to other countries, including the United States. So jigger should be included in the differential diagnosis of an unclear skin lesion in people who recently travelled to the endemic areas. In this case report, the patient recently returned from Cameroon and presented with this lesion which was identified with the eye as jigger.

Keywords: T penetrans, Tunga penetrans, JIGGER, bug of the foot