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Seroprevalence of toxocariasis in hypereosinophilic individuals in Ahwaz, south-western Iran

  • S. Maraghi (a1), A. Rafiei (a1), R. Hajihossein (a1) and S. M. Sadjjadi (a2)

Eosinophilia in human peripheral blood is caused by different agents, including toxocariasis. The present study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of toxocariasis in hypereosinophilic individuals in the city of Ahwaz, located in south-western Iran, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot techniques. Serum samples were examined from 100 individuals with peripheral blood eosinophilia and also from another 100 individuals without eosinophilia as the control group. In hypereosinophilic individuals seroprevalence antibodies against Toxocara were found in 19 (19%), of whom 12 (63.15%) were female and 7 (36.85%) were male. Positive sera were subsequently confirmed by Western blot. All of the observed bands ranged from 24 to 100 kDa. Antibodies against Toxocara were found in 1% of the control group, but were not confirmed by Western blot. The results showed significant differences between the frequency of infection within age and gender (P < 0.05); the highest prevalence of infection was observed in adults. Differences between the hypereosinophilic and healthy individuals, in terms of Toxocara infection frequency, also proved significant (P < 0.05).The present study thus confirmed the significant prevalence of toxocariasis as a hygienic problem among hypereosinophilic individuals in this area. It is, therefore, necessary to examine these individuals for toxocariasis.

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