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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 44, n° 4
pages 624-628 (avril 2001)
Doi : 10.1067/mjd.2001.112345
accepted : 16 August 2000
One Linuche mystery solved: All 3 stages of the coronate scyphomedusa Linuche unguiculata cause seabather's eruption
 

Lourdes Segura-Puertas, PhDa, Maria E. Ramos, BSa, Carlos Aramburo, PhDa, Edgar P. Heimer de la Cotera, ScDa, Joseph W. Burnett, MDb
Cancun, Mexico, and Baltimore, Maryland 
From the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Centro de Neurobiologia Campus-Juriquilla, Queretaro and Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, Cancun, Q. Roo,a and the Department of Dermatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.b 

Abstract

Background: Seabather's eruption (SBE) is a highly pruritic dermatosis affecting swimmers and divers in marine waters off Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Its cause has been attributed to various organisms but recently to the larvae of the schyphomedusa, Linuche unguiculata . Objective: We attempted to determine whether immature and adult Linuche cause SBE. Methods: Episodes of SBE in the Cancun and Cozumel area of the Mexican Caribbean were evaluated during the season of high tourism (January-June). This time corresponds to the moments in the life cycle when the three swimming stages of L unguiculata —ephyrae, medusae, and larvae—can be sequentially observed. Our methods include (1) observations by divers, biologists, and students coinciding with stinging outbreaks and the onset of SBE; (2) serologic evaluation of individuals stung by L unguiculata ; and (3) the demonstration of Linuche nematocysts on the affected skin. Results: All 3 swimming Linuche stages can cause SBE. Conclusion: The offending stages of Linuche can be identified by the cutaneous lesion's morphology and the time of year. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;44:624-8.)

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Funding was provided by Consejo Nacional de Cientia y Technologia grant No. 3459PM.
 Reprint requests: Joseph W. Burnett, Department of Dermatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 405 W Redwood St, 6th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201.
 J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;44:624-8



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