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Human toxocariasis: current advances in diagnostics, treatment, and interventions

Moreira, Gustavo Marçal Schmidt Garcia, Telmo, Paula de Lima, Mendonça, Marcelo, Moreira, Ângela Nunes, McBride, Alan John Alexander, Scaini, Carlos James, Conceição, Fabricio Rochedo
Trends in parasitology 2014 v.30 no.9 pp. 456-464
Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati, diagnostic techniques, drug formulations, humans, immunomodulators, monitoring, probiotics, recombinant vaccines, toxocariasis, zoonoses
Toxocariasis is a neglected zoonosis caused by the nematodes Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati. This disease is widespread in many countries, reaching high prevalence independently of the economic conditions. However, the true number of cases of toxocariasis is likely to be underestimated owing to the lack of adequate surveillance programs. Although some diagnostic tests are available, their sensitivity and specificity need to be improved. In addition, treatment options for toxocariasis are limited and are non-specific. Toxocariasis is listed as one of the five most important neglected diseases by the CDC. This review presents recent advances related to the control of toxocariasis, including new immunodiagnostics, therapies, and drug formulations, as well as novel interventions using DNA vaccines, immunomodulators, and probiotics.