Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2007 Sep-Oct;49(5):279-87. doi: 10.1590/s0036-46652007000500002.


Infection of humans with embryonated eggs of Toxocara canis (larva migrans) remains asymptomatic, or results in covert or common toxocarosis, visceral larva migrans syndrome, or ophthalmologic and neurologic impairment. Though neurological manifestations of Toxocara canis larvae are rare, toxocarosis remains an important differential diagnosis of various neurological disorders. Manifestations of the central nervous system are dementia, meningo-encephalitis, myelitis, cerebral vasculitis, epilepsy, or optic neuritis. Manifestations of the peripheral nervous system comprise radiculitis, affection of cranial nerves, or musculo-skeletal involvement. If toxocarosis is neglected, ignored, or refused as a differential of these abnormalities, it may be easily overlooked for years. Early recognition and treatment of the infection is, however, of paramount importance since it reduces morbidity and mortality and the risk of secondary superinfection. Like the visceral manifestations, neurological manifestations of toxocarosis are treated by benzimidazole components, most frequently albendazole, corticosteroids, or diethylcarbamazine. If detected and treated early, the prognosis of neurological manifestations of toxocarosis is favourable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Central Nervous System Helminthiasis / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Helminthiasis / drug therapy
  • Central Nervous System Helminthiasis / parasitology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / parasitology*
  • Toxocara canis*
  • Toxocariasis / complications
  • Toxocariasis / diagnosis*
  • Toxocariasis / drug therapy