Seroprevalence and Associated Risk Factors of Toxocariasis among College Students in Taipei City, Taiwan
Background: Infection by Toxocara spp. is known to be significantly associated with partial epilepsy. It has become popular for people to raise dogs/cats as pets and consume roasted meat/viscera, and the status of Toxocara spp. infection, epilepsy awareness, and associated risk factors among the general population are currently unknown in Taiwan.
Methods: A seroepidemiological investigation among 203 college students (CSs), consisting of 110 males and 93 females with an average age of 21.5 ± 1.2 years, was conducted in 2009 in Taipei City. A Western blot analysis based on excretory-secretory antigens derived from Toxocara canis larvae (TcESs) was applied to determine the positivity of serum immunoglobulin G antibodies. A self-administered questionnaire was also given to obtain information about demographic characteristics, epilepsy awareness, and risk factors. A logistic regression model was applied for the statistical analysis using SPSS software.
Results: The overall seropositive rate of Toxocara spp. infection was 8.4% (17/203). As to epilepsy awareness, a non-significantly higher seroprevalence was found in CSs who claimed to "know" about epilepsy compared to those who did not know (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: It appears that appropriate educational programs are urgently needed to provide correct knowledge related to the prevention and control measures against Toxocara spp. infections to avoid potential threats by this parasite to the general population in Taiwan.
Fan CK, Liao CW, Cheng YC. Factors affect-ing disease manifestation of toxocariasis in hu-mans: genetics and environment. Vet Parasitol. 2013; 193:342-52.
Overgaauw PA, Van Knapen F. Veterinary and public health aspects of Toxocara spp. Vet Para-sitol. 2013; 193:398-403.
Sowemimo OA. Prevalence and intensity of Toxocara spp. (Werner, 1782) in dogs and its potential public health significance in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. J Helminthol. 2007; 81: 433-438.
Soriano SV, Pierangeli NB, Roccia I, et al. A wide diversity of zoonotic intestinal parasites infects urban and rural dogs in Neuquen, Pata-gonia, Argentina. Vet Parasitol. 2010; 167: 81-85.
Smith H, Holland C, Taylor M, et al. How common is human toxocariasis? Towards standardizing our knowledge. Trends Parasitol. 2009; 25:182-188.
Noh Y, Hong ST, Yun JY, et al. Meningitis by Toxocara spp. after ingestion of raw ostrich liver. J. Korean Med Sci. 2012; 27:1105-1108.
Yang HK, Woo SJ, Hwang JM. Toxocara optic neuropathy after ingestion of raw meat prod-ucts. Optom Vis Sci. 2014; in press.
Choi D, Lim JH, Choi DC, et al. Transmission of Toxocara spp. via ingestion of raw cow liver: a cross-sectional study in healthy adults. Kore-an J Parasitol. 2012; 50:23-27.
Holland CV, Hamilton CM. The significance of cerebral toxocariasis: a model system for ex-ploring the link between brain involvement, be-havior and the immune response. J Exp Biol. 2013; 216:78-83.
Hotez PJ, Wilkins PP. Toxocariasis: America's most common neglected infection of poverty and a helminthiasis of global importance? PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2009; 3:e400.
Singer OC, Conrad F, Jahnke K, et al.: Severe meningo- encephalomyelitis due to CNS-Toxocarosis. J Neurol. 2011; 258:696-698.
Kim JH, Chung WB, Chang KY, et al. Eosin-ophilic myocarditis associated with visceral lar-va migrans caused by Toxocara spp. infection. J Cardiovasc Ultrasound. 2012; 20: 150- 153.
Ahn SJ, Woo SJ, Hyon JY, Park KH. Cataract formation associated with ocular toxocariasis. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2013; 39:830-835.
Kang YR, Kim SA, Jeon K, et al. Toxocariasis as a cause of new pulmonary infiltrates. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2013; 17:412-417.
Ramachandran J, Chandramohan A, Gan-gadharan SK, et al. Visceral larva migrans pre-senting as multiple liver abscesses. Trop Doct. 2013; 43:154-157.
Ngugi AK, Bottomley C, Kleinschmidt I, et al. Prevalence of active convulsive epilepsy in sub-Saharan Africa and associated risk factors: cross-sectional and case-control studies. Lancet Neurol. 2013;12: 253-263.
Jones JL, Kruszon-Moran D, Won K, Wilson M, Schantz, PM. Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara spp. co-infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2008; 78: 35-39.
Ho SY, Watanabe Y, Lee YC, et al. Survey of gastrointestinal parasitic infections in quaran-tined dogs in Taiwan. J Vet Med Sci. 2006; 68:69-70.
Tsai YT. A study on pet ownership in Taiwan: an application of theory of planned behavior. Department of Social Psychology, College of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Shih Hsin University. Master Thesis, 2009.
Kao TH, Chen S, Huang CW, Chen CJ, Chen BH. Occurrence and exposure to polycyclic ar-omatic hydrocarbons in kindling-free-charcoal grilled meat products in Taiwan. Food Chem Toxicol. 2014; 71:149-158.
Dutra GF, Pinto NS, da Costa de Avila LF, et al. Evaluation of the initial and chronic phases of toxocariasis after consumption of liver treat-ed by freezing or cooling. Parasitol Res. 2013; 112: 2171-2175.
Fan CK, Lan HS, Hung CC, et al. Seroepide-miology of Toxocara spp. infection among mountain aboriginal adults in Taiwan. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004; 71:216-221.
Fu CJ, Chuang TW, Lin HS, et al. Seroepide-miology of Toxocara spp. infection among pri-mary schoolchildren in the capital area of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. BMC Infect Dis. 2014; 14:261.
Chang JF. The effect of marriageable sex ratio on the age preference of mate selection: a com-parison between highly educated Taiwanese and Japanese. J Hum Social Sci. 2010; 6: 1-11.
Wang AC. The Social Dilemma：A discussion on childless by choice of DINKS in Taipei Ar-ea. Master Thesis, 2007.
Wu TC, Lei WY, Chen MC, Hu CT. Strongyloi-des stercoralis infection: a health issue regarding indigenous people in Taiwan. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2012; 106: 468-472.
Alderete JM, Jacob CM, Pastorino AC, et al. Prevalence of Toxocara infection in schoolchil-dren from the Butanta region, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2003; 98: 593-597.
Portus M, Riera C, Prats G. A serological sur-vey of toxocariasis in patients and healthy do-
nors in Barcelona (Spain). Eur J Epidemiol. 1989; 5: 224-227.
Kim YH, Huh S, Chung YB. Seroprevalence of toxocariasis among healthy people with eo-sinophilia. Korean J Parasitol. 2008; 46:29-32.
Nicholas WL, Stewart AC, Walker JC. Toxoca-riasis: a serological survey of blood donors in the Australian Capital Territory together with observations on the risks of infection. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1986; 80: 217–221.
Magnaval JF, Michault A, Calon N, Charlet JP. Epidemiology of human toxocariasis in La Re-union. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1994; 88: 531-533.
Rai SK, Uga S, Ono K et al. Seroepidemiologi-cal study of Toxocara infection in Nepal. South-east Asian J Trop Med Pub Health. 1996; 27: 286-290.
Cancrini G, Bartoloni A, Zaffaroni E, et al. Seroprevalence of Toxocara spp.-IgG antibodies in two rural Bolivian communities. Parassitolo-gia. 1998; 40: 473-475.
Kanafani ZA, Skoury A, Araj GF, et al. Toxo-cariasis and putative DRESS syndrome in an oncological patient: a case report. Parasitology. 2006;132: 635-639.
Thomas D, Jeyathilakan N. Detection of Toxo-cara eggs in contaminated soil from various public places of Chennai city and detailed cor-relation with literature. J Parasit Dis. 2014; 38:174-180.
Wolfe A, Wright IP. Human toxocariasis and direct contact with dogs. Vet Rec. 2003; 152: 419-422.
Aydenizoz-Ozkayhan M, Yagci BB, Erat S. The investigation of Toxocara spp. eggs in coats of different dog breeds as a potential transmis-sion route in human toxocariasis. Vet Parasitol. 2008; 152: 94-100.
Morimatsu Y, Akao N, Akiyoshi H, et al. A familial case of visceral larva migrans after in-gestion of raw chicken livers: appearance of specific antibody in bronchoalveolar lavage flu-id of the patients. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2006; 75: 303-306.
Yoshida M, Shirao Y, Asai H, et al. A retro-spective study of ocular toxocariasis in Japan: correlation with antibody prevalence and oph-thalmological findings of patients with uveitis. J Helminthol. 1999; 73: 357-361.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.