Seroepidemiology of human toxocariasis in North Africa



Adeel AA.


Adv Parasitol. 2020;109:501-534. doi: 10.1016/bs.apar.2020.01.023. Epub 2020 Feb 10.


Seroprevalence studies on human toxocariasis help to assess the burden and the morbidity associated with this zoonosis. This review searched the seroprevalence studies and case reports in six North African countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, since 1990. The search also included studies on the environmental factors related to the risk of transmission. Most of the published epidemiological studies were done in Egypt. Cross-sectional and case-control studies in Egypt demonstrated that toxocariasis is a significant zoonosis that could be associated with conditions like bronchial asthma allergies and certain neuropsychiatric disorders. The population at risk of this infection includes all ages, both genders, in contact with dogs, resident in rural areas with poor housing conditions. The publications from Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria are limited to case reports and retrospective analyses of cases, but the disease is probably under-diagnosed in these three countries. There are no published reports on human toxocariasis in Libya and Sudan during the period covered by the review. Animal studies confirm high infection rates of dogs with Toxocara canis in North Africa. There is also evidence of wide-spread contamination of soil and water with Toxocara spp. eggs. Moreover, the use of untreated wastewater for irrigation in parts of North Africa could be a source of contamination of agricultural products with eggs of Toxocara spp. Population-based studies on human toxocariasis are recommended, using standardized diagnostic tests. These surveys should also assess risk factors to guide preventive measures. CI – © 2020 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

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Link/DOI: 10.1016/bs.apar.2020.01.023