Prevalence and risk factors associated with Toxocara canis infection in children

ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Jun 9;2013:572089. doi: 10.1155/2013/572089. Print 2013.


The objective of this study was to determine seroprevalence and identify risk factors associated with Toxocara canis infection. A clinical and epidemiological questionnaire and body mass index were used to assess the risk factors associated with human toxocariasis in 108 children with an age range of 2-16 years. Antibodies against Toxocara canis were detected using an ELISA test kit. Chi-square analysis and odds ratio (OR) were used to identify risk factors associated with Toxocara canis seropositivity. The prevalence of antibodies against Toxocara canis was greater (P = 0.02) in males than females (28.84% and 16.07%, resp.). Chi-square analysis and odds ratio revealed just one variable with P < 0.05, and OR > 1.0 was associated with seropositivity: the possession of dogs under one year old (OR = 1.78). Although not significant, the OR values suggest that other factors may be epidemiologically important for Toxocara presence such as not washing hands before meals, malnutrition, obesity, and use of public parks. Children in the age group >12 and <16 years old had higher seroprevalence to Toxocara canis (17.59%) than the >2 and <11 years old age group (4.62%). Toxocariosis infection needs to be prevented by pet deworming and hygienic measures after contact with dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology*
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Toxocara canis / isolation & purification*
  • Toxocariasis / epidemiology*
  • Toxocariasis / parasitology

Supplementary concepts

  • Toxocara canis infection (canine roundworms)