The prevalence of Toxocara canis ova in soil samples from parks and gardens in the London area

Public Health. 1991 Jul;105(4):335-9. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(05)80219-7.


Toxocara canis is an ascarid parasite of the dog. Human infection is acquired when ova of T. canis are ingested. Parks and play areas contaminated with dog faeces are recognised as potential sources of infection. Five hundred and twenty one soil samples were examined from fifteen parks and gardens in the greater London area to establish the prevalence of soil contamination in those facilities. Samples were examined using a magnesium sulphate floatation method. T. canis ova were found in 6.3% of the samples. Positive samples were commonly found in lawns, playing fields and children's play areas. The authors believe that this may constitute a significant health risk, particularly to children.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Feces / parasitology
  • London
  • Soil / analysis*
  • Soil Microbiology*
  • Toxocara / parasitology*


  • Soil