Chulalongkorn University

Knowledge Articles



                Capillariasis is a disease caused by Capillaria philippinensis which is a small roundworm which lives in small intestines. It can cause severe chronic diarrhea which may be fatal if not treated in time. The parasite be found in central and northeastern part of Thailand.


                                                     Adult                                                                                         Larva

How it is contagious?


                It is infective through consumption of raw freshwater fish. As the larvae enter the human body, they march towards the small intestine and become adults. After that, they lay eggs passed into the feces. If the eggs reach the water and the freshwater fish took it, it hatches and the larva can infect human when eaten.


                                                                                          Capillaria philippinensis’ lifecycle

How could you know if you’re infected?


                The diagnosis can be done by symptom observation and stool examination which adults, larvae and eggs will be found.


Eggs in feces




                Adults will embodied themselves in the small intestines, causing to lose absorbing functions, results in diarrhea, noisy stomach and abdominal pain. In some patients, these symptoms may occurs 5-10 times a day for a month. The stomach will distend with tenderness, nausea and vomit. Anorexia may occur, causing nutritional deficiency, weakness, compromised immunity and may be fatal.


Cachexic patient


How to prevent the disease?


                Eat well-cooked fish, and pass feces in the place with good sanitation to prevent spreading of parasite’s egg.