Update on Toxocara species and toxocarosis
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Toxocara species eggs are produced by adult worms in the intestine of the fox, dog and cat definitive hosts. In the environment, third stage larvae develop inside the eggs and once developed, the larvae are infective. The relative contribution of the three species of definitive hosts depends on the population size, the prevalence and intensity of infection in those hosts and what steps are taken to prevent infection or to pick up faeces, particularly in the case of dogs. Infection in paratenic hosts results in larval migration which can cause behavioural changes when migration occurs in the central nervous system. Infection in the lungs of the definitive host must be distinguished from other causes of lung disease. Of the syndromes associated with infection in humans, the varied signs associated with covert toxocarosis are becoming better understood and are now believed to include asthma, reduced lung function, reduced cognitive function, chronic coughing. Diagnosis in humans remains challenging with elimination of other possible causes an important constituent.
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