We investigated the seroepidemiological, clinical, and laboratory characteristics of patients suspected to have toxocariasis in Gwangju and Jeonnam-province, Korea. In total, 228 specimens were analyzed for anti-Toxocara canis IgG at two university hospitals from 2010 to 2012. The overall seropositive rate was 67.1%, and the seropositive rates among the eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic groups were 76.1% (105/138) and 53.3% (48/90), respectively. Risk factors for eosinophilia and toxocariasis were male sex (odds ratios [OR]=2.632 and 3.477, respectively) and a history of ingesting raw meat (OR=2.884 and 3.274, respectively), especially raw cow liver (OR=2.089 and 10.038, respectively). T. canis seropositivity (OR=5.807, P=0.004) and a history of consuming raw cow liver (OR=2.766, P=0.052) were risk factors for organ involvement. The anti-T. canis IgG level showed weakly positive correlations with eosinophil counts (r=0.234, P<0.001) and the duration of eosinophilia (r=0.155, P=0.019). Although limited to the regions of Gwangju and Jeonnam-province, this study supports the opinion that toxocariasis is a reasonable focus as a cause of eosinophilia and that it is also associated with organ involvement.
Keywords: Eosinophilia; Organ involvement; Raw cow liver; Seroepidemiology; Toxocariasis.