J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg 2016; 42(2): 67~76
Dracunculiasis in oral and maxillofacial surgery
Soung Min Kim1,2
1Oral and Maxillofacial Microvascular Reconstruction Lab, Sunyani Regional Hospital, Sunyani, Brong Ahafo, Ghana,  2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dental Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
Soung Min Kim
Oral and Maxillofacial Microvascular Reconstruction Lab, Ghana Health Service, Sunyani Regional Hospital, P.O. Box 27, Sunyani, Brong Ahafo, Ghana
TEL: +233-249-681-906 E-mail: smin5@snu.ac.kr ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6916-0489">http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6916-0489
Received March 24, 2016; Accepted March 26, 2016.; Published online April 30, 2016.
© Korean Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Dracunculiasis, otherwise known as guinea worm disease (GWD), is caused by infection with the nematode Dracunculus medinensis. This nematode is transmitted to humans exclusively via contaminated drinking water. The transmitting vectors are Cyclops copepods (water fleas), which are tiny free-swimming crustaceans usually found abundantly in freshwater ponds. Humans can acquire GWD by drinking water that contains vectors infected with guinea worm larvae. This disease is prevalent in some of the most deprived areas of the world, and no vaccine or medicine is currently available. International efforts to eradicate dracunculiasis began in the early 1980s. Most dentists and maxillofacial surgeons have neglected this kind of parasite infection. However, when performing charitable work in developing countries near the tropic lines or other regions where GWD is endemic, it is important to consider GWD in cases of swelling or tumors of unknown origin. This paper reviews the pathogenesis, epidemiology, clinical criteria, diagnostic criteria, treatment, and prevention of dracunculiasis. It also summarizes important factors for maxillofacial surgeons to consider.
Keywords: Dracunculiasis, <em>Dracunculus medinensis</em>, Guinea worm disease, Neglected tropical diseases, Swelling of unknown origin

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