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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557


CARVALHO, Elaine A. A.  and  ROCHA, Regina L.. Toxocariasis: visceral larva migrans in children. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2011, vol.87, n.2, pp.100-110. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVES: To present a detailed investigation of risk factors, symptoms, and laboratory and imaging tests that may be useful to establish the clinical laboratory diagnosis of visceral larva migrans (VLM) in children, demonstrating the importance of diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications in the eyes, liver, and other organs. SOURCES: Literature review using the MEDLINE and LILACS (1952-2009) databases, selecting the most recent and representative articles on the topic. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: VLM is an infectious disease with non-specific clinical presentation, whose transmission is related to contact with dogs, especially puppies, and which may progress to late systemic complications in vital organs such as the eyes and the central nervous system. IgG (ELISA) anti-T. canis can be used to establish the laboratory diagnosis. Higher cutoff points suggest recent illness and lower cutoff points demonstrate mild infection or infection in remission. Therapeutic response may be assessed by means of eosinophil blood cell count. The present article provides the pediatrician with updated information regarding VLM, a disease of high prevalence worldwide and in Brazil. CONCLUSIONS: The diagnosis of VLM depends mainly on the presence of dogs in the child's household, associated with ELISA (IgG anti-T. canis), using excretory-secretory antigens of Toxocara canis. Prospective studies are warranted to assess the best drug therapy. Prevention is the most important strategy because of the high prevalence of T. canis in urban areas.

Keywords : Toxocara canis; dogs; infection; epidemiology; ELISA; prevalence.

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