Elaine A. Carvalho I ; Regina L. Rocha II. Higher cutoff points suggest recent illness and lower cutoff points demonstrate mild infection or infection in remission. Therapeutic response may be assessed by means of eosinophil blood cell count. The present article provides the pediatrician with updated information regarding VLM, a disease of high prevalence worldwide and in Brazil.
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Toxocariasis is infection caused by larvae of the roundworms Toxocara canis or Toxocara cati , which are parasites of animals. Young children can acquire the infection when they eat soil contaminated with animal stool feces that contain the roundworm eggs.
The infection may cause fever, cough or wheezing, and an enlarged liver, and in some people, it may cause vision problems. See also Overview of Parasitic Infections. Toxocariasis occurs mainly in young children, who acquire Toxocara eggs by ingesting soil contaminated by the feces of dogs, cats, or other animals that carry the parasite.
Sandboxes, where dogs and cats often defecate, pose a particular hazard for exposure to the eggs. Children frequently transfer the eggs from their hands to their mouth and may eat the contaminated sand.
Occasionally, adults ingest eggs picked up from contaminated soil, other surfaces, or hands and become infected. Adults and children who have a craving for nonfoods, such as soil or clay a condition called pica , are at particular risk. After the eggs are swallowed, larvae hatch in the intestine. The larvae penetrate the intestinal wall and spread through the bloodstream. Almost any tissue of the body may be affected, but the liver and lungs are most commonly involved.
The larvae can remain alive for many months, causing damage by moving through tissues and stimulating inflammation. The larvae do not mature to adulthood in people, but they can remain alive in the body for many months. The larvae require another host for maturation: dogs, cats, or other animals. Toxocara eggs may be ingested by other mammals, such as rabbits or sheep.
In these animals, the eggs hatch into larvae, which penetrate the wall of the intestine and travel to various tissues where they form cysts. Rarely, people are infected by eating raw or undercooked meat from these animals. Toxocariasis symptoms may start within several weeks after eggs are ingested.
They vary depending on the organ affected. Fever, cough or wheezing, and liver enlargement are the most common. Some people have a rash, spleen enlargement, or recurring pneumonia. They may lose their appetite. When larvae infect the eye usually only one eye , they typically cause no symptoms or very mild symptoms. However, the eyes may become inflamed, and vision may be impaired or lost.
A doctor may suspect toxocariasis in a person who has an enlarged liver, inflammation of the lungs, a fever, and high levels of eosinophils a type of white blood cell.
The diagnosis of toxocariasis is confirmed by identifying Toxocara antibodies in the blood. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to help defend the body against attack, including that by parasites.
Rarely, a sample of liver or other tissue is obtained and examined biopsied for evidence of larvae or inflammation resulting from their presence. Prevention involves deworming dogs and cats regularly.
Covering sandboxes when not in use prevents animals from defecating in them. Children should be discouraged from eating nonfoods, such as soil and clay, as should adults who have such cravings. If needed, albendazole or mebendazole drugs used to eliminate worms—anthelmintic drugs plus corticosteroids.
In most people with toxocariasis, the infection resolves on its own, and treatment is unnecessary. Albendazole or mebendazole plus corticosteroids is given when symptoms are severe or the eyes are infected. Occasionally, laser photocoagulation application of an intense beam of light is used to kill larvae in the eyes. Merck and Co. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world.
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Common Health Topics. Parasitic Infections: Nematodes Roundworms. Test your knowledge. What percentage of women in the United States have been infected by human papillomavirus HPV at least once by the age of 50?
More Content. Click here for the Professional Version. Doctors confirm the diagnosis by identifying antibodies to the roundworm in a sample of blood. Treatment is usually unnecessary but may include antiparasitic drugs and corticosteroids. A doctor's evaluation. Was This Page Helpful? Yes No. Community-Acquired Pneumonia. Overview of Lyme Disease. Tuberculosis: Infected Alveolar Macrophage. Add to Any Platform.
Toxocara Canis Ciclo de Vida GIF
Tolerance to low temperatures of Toxocara cati larvae in chicken muscle tissue. Infectivity of Toxocara cati larvae in muscle tissue of chickens after storage at 4 degrees C and degrees C was assessed in a mouse bioassay to provide information on the risk of meat-borne toxocarosis. Muscle tissue samples of day old T. Toxocara cati larvae in the eye of a child: a case report.
Toxocariasis in humans is caused by infection with larvae of Toxocara spp. Confirmed zoonotic species include the dog roundworm T. It is not known whether other closely-related Toxocara species can infect humans e. Toxocara canis infects essentially all wild and domestic canids; patent infections are more prevalent among puppies than older dogs.
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