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Toxocariasis

Abstract

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Synonyms of Toxocariasis

  • Human infection with the larvae of canine or feline roundworms
  • Toxocaral Larva Migrans

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Covert Toxocariasis; Asymptomatic Toxocariasis
  • Ocular Larva Migrans (OLM); Ocular Toxocariasis
  • Visceral Larva Migrans (VLM); Visceral Toxocariasis

General Discussion

Toxocariasis is an infectious disease caused by the parasite Toxocara, a worm of dogs and cats. Toxocariasis is not limited to pet owners. The eggs of the parasite are passed in the stool and lie dormant in the soil. For unknown reasons, humans become infected when exposed to the eggs passed only by dogs. Infection occurs when there is purposeful or incidental ingestion of soil from hand to mouth through such activities as biting finger nails or inserting recently contaminated objects such as toys into the mouth. (Consequently, the disorder is found disproportionately among children.) Once ingested, the eggs hatch into larvae and burrow into body tissue of all types. The symptoms experienced depend on the number of eggs ingested and the person's immune status, yet a single egg has the potential of causing blindness. Everywhere the larvae travel, they cause inflammation and tissue death.

Organizations related to Toxocariasis

(Please note that some of these organizations may provide information concerning certain conditions potentially associated with this disorder [e.g., eye abnormalities].)

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