Toxocara: The Enigmatic Parasite

Toxocara: The Enigmatic Parasite

By C. V. Holland and H. V. Smith

Toxocara is a parasitic helminth worm which continues to stimulate both public concern and scientific interest. Toxocara canis and T.cati, the most studied species, are gastrointestinal parasites of dogs and cats and their eggs can contaminate the environment, thus exposing humans and other mammals and birds to infection. Many questions remain unanswered about the host-parasite relationship, its epidemiology and public health significance. Veterinarians and clinicians are interested in its importance as a zoonosis. The parasite’s capacity to cause ocular disease is of concern to ophthalmologists, while its propensity to stimulate allergic manifestations is of interest to allergologists, dermatologists and respiratory medicine specialists. Furthermore Toxocara provides a unique model system to explore questions in parasite biology. This book provides a comprehensive review of Toxocara and the disease it causes known as toxocariasis.

Table of Contents

Molecular biology and immunology of Toxocara canis.

Molecular genetic characterization of members of the genus Toxocara – taxonomic, population genetic and epidemiological considerations.

The larval surface.

Toxocara and asthma.

The significance of cerebral toxocariasis.

Critical assessment of existing and novel model systems of toxocariasis.

Diagnostic limitations and future trends in the serodiagnosis of human toxocariasis.

Management and treatment options for human toxocariasis.

Ocular toxocariasis.

Toxocariasis and the skin.

Inflammatory and immunological responses to Toxocara canis.

Novel approaches to immunoprophylaxis for toxocariasis.

Epidemiological surveillance of Toxocara and toxocariasis.

Exposure and environmental contamination.

Baylisascariasis: an emerging and potentially fatal form of larval migrans.

Current and future options for the prevention and treatment of canids.

Toxocariasis: the veterinarian’s role in prevention of zoonotic transmission.

Toxocara vitulorum in livestock.

Economic impact of Toxocara spp.

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