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Frequency of seropositivity to Toxocara canis in children of different socioeconomic strata

Frequency of seropositivity for Toxocara in children from different socioeconomic strata in the city of Brasilia (Brazil) was measured. Six hundred and two children of both sexes, aged one to 12 years were distributed in two socioeconomically distinct groups. The samples of sera of the first group were obtained from blood drawn for routine tests in the laboratory of a public hospital attending children from low-income families. Samples from the second group were obtained from private laboratories attending children from middle-class families. Anti-toxocara antibodies were detected by ELISA, using Toxocara canis excretory-secretory antigens previously absorbed with Ascaris suum extract. The prevalence of seropositivity was 21.8% (66/302) in the first group and 3% (9/300) in the second (p< 0.0001). No differences in frequency according to age or sex could be detected. Our results suggest a high prevalence of childhood toxocariasis in Brasilia, with children from lower income brackets being the most affected.

Toxocariasis; Visceral larva migrans; Toxocara canis; ELISA

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