Toxocariasis

Toxocariasis is an endemic zoonosis both in urban and rural canines and felines. Outdoor playareas for children are often contaminated with Toxocara eggs with prevalence levels in sandbox and playarea soil from 2 to 38%. Dogs in Canada have stool egg prevalences for Toxocara canis of 2-57%, the highest rates occurring in puppies under 1 year of age. Human cases of both visceral larva migrans and Toxocara retinal lesions have been reported in small numbers. However, the true incidence is unknown as these infections are not reportable (Fanning et al. 1981). Several seroprevalence studies show the presence of Toxocara antibodies in 4-26% with higher levels in small children and in rural areas. In northern regions of Canada, T. canis is rare, being replaced by T. leonina, an ascarid of unknown human pathogenicity.

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