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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo
Print version ISSN 0036-4665
SANTAREM, Vamilton Alvares; LELI, Flávia Noris Chagas; RUBINSKY-ELEFANT, Guita and GIUFFRIDA, Rogério. Protective and risk factors for toxocariasis in children from two different social classes of Brazil. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 2011, vol.53, n.2, pp. 66-72. ISSN 0036-4665. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-46652011000200002.
The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of Toxocara spp. antibodies in children from two different socioeconomic classes in the Presidente Prudente municipality, São Paulo State, Brazil, and the protective and risk factors associated with toxocariasis. One hundred and twenty-six middle-class (MC) and 126 disadvantaged children (DC) were included in this study. Anti-Toxocara ELISA test was performed in order to evaluate seroprevalence. A survey was applied to the children's guardians/parents in order to analyze the protective and risk factors. The overall prevalence was 11.1%, and of 9.5% (12/126) and 12.7% (16/126) for MC and DC subgroups, respectively. Toxocara seropositivity was inversely proportional to the family income. A high household income was considered a protective factor for toxocariasis in the total population and in both MC and DC subgroups. Being a girl was considered a protective factor for the total population and for both subgroups. Whilst being an owner of cat was a risk factor for children belonging to the total and for both MC and DC subgroups, having dog was considered as a risk factor for only the MC. Epidemiologic protective/factor risks can be distinct depending on the strata of the same population. Thus, it is relevant to evaluate these factors independently for different socioeconomic classes in order to design future investigations and programs for preventing the infection of human beings by Toxocara spp. and other geohelminths.
Keywords : Toxocariasis; Children; Epidemiology; Seroprevalence; Toxocara spp.