Epidemiological Study of Toxocar canis in Children under 14-Years-Old and Dogs in Zabol and Chabahar Districts, Southeast of Iran
AbstractBackground: The purpose of this study was seroepidemiological and parasitological assessment of Toxocara canis infection in children and dogs in Zabol and Chabahar, Iran.Methods: This study was a descriptive-analytic study with a simple random sampling of children under 14 yr old, referring to urban, rural, and tribal laboratories of Zabol and Chabahar, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran in 2016. Demographic data, clinical, and laboratory conditions of patients were collected through interviews, questionnaires, and blood count measuring. The prevalence of IgG antibodies against T. canis was assessed by ELISA. T. canis eggs in dogs (as the original host) were also assessed by examining animal feces. Then the data were analyzed using SPSS 19 software and descriptive statistics, chi-square and ANOVA statistical tests.Results: Totally, 364 patients were enrolled, of which 51.6% were female and mean±SD age of participants was 7.2 (±3.7) yr. IgG antibodies against T. canis was observed in 3.8% of cases. A significant association was found between the seroprevalence of T. canis and eosinophil (P=0.003) and red blood cell count (P=0.04). We also found a significant association between serological prevalence of T. canis and demographic parameters, such as city of residence (P=0.003), gender (P=0.04), consumption of vegetables (P=0.01), and the living place (P=0.04). Mean antibody titration was 2.2 ±1.1, with statistically significant difference among age groups (P=0.001). In addition, T. canis infection was positive in 27.5% of dogs living in the study areas.Conclusion: High risk of infection represented in patients referring to laboratories of Zabol and Chabahar. In addition, given the fact that dogs are the final hosts to transfer Toxocara infection to humans, this study emphasizes the need to control the population of stray dogs in the region to prevent the development of disease in the human society.
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