Spreading of Thelazia callipaeda in Greece.
Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida, Thelaziidae), the so-called oriental eyeworm, has been increasingly reported as an agent of infection in animals and humans from many European countries. Clinical signs range from subclinical to moderate or severe ocular disorders (e.g., epiphora, photophobia, conjunctivitis, keratitis, ulcers). The disease has been also diagnosed in animals from countries of the Balkan area (e.g., Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia), but only a single case of canine thelaziosis, presumably autochthonous, was reported in Northern Greece. In this study, we provide robust information of the occurrence of thelaziosis in Greece by reporting autochthonous cases of thelaziosis in dogs (n=46), cats (n=3) and in one rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) living in Northern and Central regions of Greece. The occurrence of a single haplotype of the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene confirms that the same zoonotic haplotype of the parasite circulating in Europe is also spreading in Greece. The increased awareness of this parasitosis is crucial to limit the risk of further infections in both humans and animals in European countries.