Testing for Clonorchis Sinensis Exposure in Vietnam Veterans

- 2/26/2018

Please see the attached memorandum ‘Testing for Clonorchis Sinensis Exposure in Vietnam Veterans.’
1.The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is committed to conducting research
to enhance the health care provided to our Nation’s Veterans. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide information regarding the Clonorchis Sinesis/Liver Fluke parasite Exposure in Vietnam Veterans study.
2.The Northport VA Medical Center Infectious Disease team conducted a pilot
study to detect evidence of exposure to the Liver Fluke parasite in Vietnam Veterans during the Spring of 2017. The study evaluated Veterans who ate raw or undercooked fish from the rivers of Vietnam to find evidence of past Liver Fluke parasite infection. Liver Fluke is found in fresh water fish in some regions where Vietnam Veterans served. Exposure to the parasite might be a risk factor for a rare tumor of the biliary tract. Blood samples were taken from 50 Veterans that served in Vietnam. The samples were sent to a South Korean lab recognized for developing a blood test that can measure historical infection with Liver Fluke. The testing was performed under VA research protocol. The test is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is not available in the United States. The test is, therefore, not available to VA. All Veterans tested in this study were notified of the results.
3.VA is currently working to validate the South Korean test and is considering a
second, larger study. Additional information about the disease may be found at the following website:https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/infectious-diseases/cholangiocarcinoma.asp.
Please share this with Veterans who may need this information.
Best, Carol
Carol Sobel, USA (SGM Ret.)
Communications Office
VA New England Healthcare System (VISN 1)
Office: (781) 687-4765
Cell: (781) 879-7345
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