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A serological and epidemiological evaluation of risk factors for toxocariasis in children in central Poland

  • Hanna Żarnowska (a1), Anna Borecka (a2), Jakub Gawor (a2), Magdalena Marczyńska (a3), Sabina Dobosz (a3) and Wojciech Basiak (a1)...

The level of specific anti-Toxocara IgG was examined in 343 children from central Poland with suspected Toxocara infection. Based on the presence of specific IgG antibodies and clinical signs and symptoms, toxocariasis was confirmed in 249 patients. The serological results of diagnosed cases were analysed in connection with epidemiological data (contamination of soil around the children's homes and presence of a dog or a cat). A higher prevalence of soil contamination with Toxocara eggs was found in suburban and rural areas (30.9% and 24.6%, respectively) whereas it was lower in urban areas (10.3%). In about 40% of the children whose households were not contaminated, a decrease in the antibody level was observed 2 years after treatment for toxocariasis, while there was no such decline in those living in contaminated places. The logistic regression model employed to determine the correlation between seropositivity in the children and selected epidemiological risk factors showed a statistically significant relationship in connection only with dog ownership (P = 0.0238). The present results have demonstrated the high risk of toxocariasis for children from rural and suburban areas in Poland. The sero-epidemiological investigations indicated that re-infection might be the reason for persistence of seropositivity after treatment.

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Journal of Helminthology
  • ISSN: 0022-149X
  • EISSN: 1475-2697
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