Frequency of Toxocara Antibodies in Patients Clinically Suspected to Ocular Toxocariasis, Northeast of Iran
Background: Human toxocariasis is a neglected parasitic disease in most countries including Iran. Among different clinical forms of toxocariasis, ocular toxocariasis (OT) is an important disease resulting in severe vision loss. However, the prevalence and incidence of OT are currently unclear in Iran. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of ocular toxocariasis among patients with uveitis in the Northeast of Iran.
Methods: From 2015 to 2017, 510 patients with uveitis referred to Khatam-al-Anbia, a tertiary eye hospital at Mashhad, Iran were examined for OT. Serum samples of the suspected patients were obtained and evaluated for IgG against Toxocara canis using ELISA test. Anti-Toxocara IgG positive serums were further investigated using confirmatory Western blotting (WB) analysis.
Results: Twenty patients had pathologic changes and clinical presentations in the anterior and posterior segments of their eyes and they were clinically diagnosed ocular toxocariasis. Among the 20 patients, 2 (10%) patients showed IgG antibody against Toxocara canis on ELISA as well as on WB test. The calculated prevalence of ocular toxocariasis was about 0.4%.
Conclusion: Ocular toxocariasis can be diagnosed both clinically and serologically in Mashhad, northeastern Iran. Although OT is a rare pathologic eye disease, it should be considered as one of the important cause of infectious posterior uveitis.
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