Toxocariasis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Toxocariasis is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Toxocariasis is an infectious disease caused by the parasite Toxocara, a worm of dogs and cats. Toxocariasis is not limited to pet owners. The eggs of the parasite are passed in the stool and lie dormant in the soil. For unknown reasons, humans become infected when exposed to the eggs passed only by dogs. Infection occurs when there is purposeful or incidental ingestion of soil from hand to mouth through such activities as biting finger nails or inserting recently contaminated objects such as toys into the mouth. (Consequently, the disorder is found disproportionately among children.) Once ingested, the eggs hatch into larvae and burrow into body tissue of all types. The symptoms experienced depend on the number of eggs ingested and the person's immune status, yet a single egg has the potential of causing blindness. Everywhere the larvae travel, they cause inflammation and tissue death.

Supporting Organizations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)232-4636
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
Website: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

NIAID Office of Communications and Government Relations
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, MD 20892-9806
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
Tel: (866)284-4107
Email: ocpostoffice@niaid.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  4/7/2009
Copyright  2009 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.