Toxocariasis: a silent threat with a progressive public health impact

Chen, Jia, Liu, Quan, Liu, Guo-Hua, Zheng, Wen-Bin, Hong, Sung-Jong, Sugiyama, Hiromu, Zhu, Xing-Quan and Elsheikha, Hany M. (2018) Toxocariasis: a silent threat with a progressive public health impact. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 7 (1). p. 59. ISSN 2049-9957

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Background: Toxocariasis is a neglected parasitic zoonosis that afflicts millions of the pediatric and adolescent populations worldwide, especially in impoverished communities. This disease is caused by infection with the larvae of Toxocara canis and T. cati, the most ubiquitous intestinal nematode parasite in dogs and cats, respectively. In this article, recent advances in the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and pharmacotherapies that have been used in the treatment of toxocariasis are reviewed.

Main text: Over the past two decades, we have come far in our understanding of the biology and epidemiology of toxocariasis. However, lack of laboratory infrastructure in some countries, lack of uniform case definitions and limited surveillance infrastructure are some of the challenges that hindered the estimation of global disease burden. Toxocariasis encompasses four clinical forms: visceral, ocular, covert and neural. Incorrect or misdiagnosis of any of these disabling conditions can result in severe health consequences and considerable medical care spending. Fortunately, multiple diagnostic modalities are available, which if effectively used together with the administration of appropriate pharmacologic therapies, can minimize any unnecessary patient morbidity.

Conclusions: Although progress has been made in the management of toxocariasis patients, there remains much work to be done. Implementation of new technologies and better understanding of the pathogenesis of toxocariasis can identify new diagnostic biomarkers, which may help in increasing diagnostic accuracy. Also, further clinical research breakthroughs are needed to develop better ways to effectively control and prevent this serious disease.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Toxocara canis, Toxocariasis, Zoonosis, Larva migrans, Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Control
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2018 10:53
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:40

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