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Parasitic infections of the lung: a guide for the respiratory physician
  1. H Kunst1,
  2. D Mack2,
  3. O M Kon3,
  4. A K Banerjee4,
  5. P Chiodini2,5,
  6. A Grant5
  1. 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Clinical Parasitology, Hospital for Tropical Diseases, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Respiratory Medicine, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Radiology, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  5. 5Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Hospital for Tropical Diseases, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Heinke Kunst, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham B9 5SS, UK; hkunst{at}


Parasitic infections of the lung occur worldwide among both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients and may affect the respiratory system in a variety of ways. This review provides an update on the presenting symptoms, signs, investigation and management of diseases affecting the lung caused by protozoa, nematodes and trematodes. The clinical presentations and radiographic findings of several of these diseases may mimic tuberculosis and malignancy. It is important to consider parasitic infections in the differential diagnosis of such lung diseases. If identified early, most parasitic diseases that affect the lung are curable with medical or surgical treatments.

  • Respiratory Infection

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  • Funding PLC and AG are supported by the UCL Hospitals Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre Infection Theme. AG was supported by a Public Health Career Scientist award from the UK Department of Health.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.