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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

versión On-line ISSN 1669-9106


MARTIN, Ubaldo O.; MACHUCA, Pía B.; DEMONTE, Miguel A.  y  CONTINI, Liliana. Analysis of children with a presumptive diagnosis of toxocariasis in Santa Fe, Argentina. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2008, vol.68, n.5, pp. 353-357. ISSN 1669-9106.

Human toxocariasis is a parasitic disease found worldwide. The most important etiological agent is Toxocara canis, a dog parasite. Humans are infected by the ingestion of their eggs; the eggs hatch in the small intestine and the larvae migrate through the capillaries, taking up residence in different tissues. Clinical manifestations are associated with mechanical and/or reaction damage caused by these parasites larvae. Clinical diagnosis is difficult. The method applied in this work is the demonstration of antibodies against the helminth in the blood of children, target host population of this parasitic disease. An ELISA test was performed using T. canis larval excretory-secretory products as antigen. A total of 100 children presumptively diagnosed of toxocariasis that had been derived from different services of the Regional Children’s Hospital for complementary studies, were included in the analysis. The test detected two different populations: infected (59) and non-infected (41). The statistical analysis showed a non significant association between infection and sex (p = 0.279). Infected subjects tended to be older than the non infected (p = 0.009). Eosinophilia was detected in 100% of seropositive children and in 85.2% of the seronegative. There was no significant association between infection and leucocytosis ( = 0.950). The association of these two parameters was significantly higher among infected patients (R = 0.918). Respiratory symptoms and signs were more frequently detected in the positive population (p = 0.05). Dogs tenancy was as frequent among infected as in the non infected homes (p = 0.53). According to these results, prevention, early diagnosis and opportune treatment for toxocariasis should be considered as prioritary health activities in this region.

Palabras clave : Toxocariasis; Antibodies; Eosinophilia; Dogs.

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