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Developmental age, physical fitness and Toxocara seroprevalence amongst lower-secondary students living in rural areas contaminated with Toxocara eggs

  • W. JAROSZ (a1), H. MIZGAJSKA-WIKTOR (a1), P. KIRWAN (a2), J. KONARSKI (a3), W. RYCHLICKI (a4) and G. WAWRZYNIAK (a5)...
Summary

Scarce and inconclusive information on general biological impact of Toxocara invasion on paratenic hosts, and people in particular, has led us to undertake a comprehensive study of the problem. The study has been conducted in a rural environment, which is considered a toxocarosis risk factor. In total 200 soil samples have been screened for Toxocara eggs by flotation, of which 14·5% were positive. Backyards close to households were most heavily contaminated with infectious eggs – 21·7% of positive samples. ELISA serological tests performed on 242 lower-secondary students found 14·5% of the studied population to be definitely positive – 16·5% of boys and 12·8% of girls, respectively. The odds of being infected with Toxocara were 2 times (CI: 1·15–3·85) more likely for individuals who owned a cat than those who did not own a cat. Strong significant correlation between seropositivity and the presence of a dog in a household was found with boys. The level of developmental age was significantly higher in seropositive than in seronegative students. No significant correlation has been observed between the motor abilities and seropositivity of students. Seropositive boys had significantly lower end-of-year grades than their seronegative counterparts.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Department of Biology and Environmental Protection, University School of Physical Education, Królowej Jadwigi 27/39, 61-871 Poznań, Poland. Tel: +48618355246. Fax: +48618355247. E-mail: jarosz@awf.poznan.pl
References
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