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Seroprevalence and risk factors for Toxocara infection in children from an urban large setting in Northeast Brazil

Mendonça, Lívia R., Figueiredo, Camila A., Esquivel, Renata, Fiaccone, Rosemeire L., Pontes-de-Carvalho, Lain, Cooper, Philip, Barreto, Maurício L. and Alcantara-Neves, Neuza M. (2013) 'Seroprevalence and risk factors for Toxocara infection in children from an urban large setting in Northeast Brazil'. Acta Tropica, Vol 128, Issue 1, pp. 90-95.

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This study aimed to standardize an “in house” immunoassay to detect anti-Toxocara IgG antibodies in human serum to estimate the seroprevalence of Toxocara infection, and to identify its potential risk factors in children living in poor areas of Salvador, a large northeastern Brazilian city.


Parents of 1309 children answered a questionnaire containing possible risk factor for acquisition of this infection. Blood was collected and the presence of anti-Toxocara IgG antibodies was detected by indirect ELISA using T. canis larval excretory–secretory antigens in sera previously absorbed with Ascaris lumbricoides antigens.


Seroprevalence of Toxocara infection was 48.4%. Children's age, low maternal schooling, contact with dogs and cats, and household located in paved streets were shown to be risk factors for Toxocara infection.


The seroprevalence of Toxocara infection is high among children living in a poor urban setting of Brazil. The association of low maternal education with higher Toxocara infection supports studies showing that low socioeconomic status is a risk factor for the acquisition of this infection as a reflection of hygiene habits of the family. And both infected-dogs and cats may be involved in this parasite transmission in this children population.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > Antigens and Antibodies. Toxins and Antitoxins > QW 570 Serology.
QX Parasitology > Helminths. Annelida > QX 203 Nematoda
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 850 Nematode infections (General)
WS Pediatrics > Diseases of Children and Adolescents > General Diseases > WS 200 General works
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2015 10:10
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:09


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