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Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States: Toxocariasis
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  • Description:
    Toxocariasis is a preventable parasitic disease that is caused by the dog and cat roundworms Toxocara cani and T. cati, respectively. Humans become infected when they accidently ingest infectious Toxocara eggs commonly found in contaminated soil; children are most often affected. Clinical manifestations of Toxocara infection in humans include ocular toxocariasis and visceral toxocariasis. Although infection with Toxocara can cause devastating disease, the burden of toxocariasis in the United States population remains unknown. In addition, risk factors for acquiring infection need to be better defined, and research needs to be conducted to better understand the pathophysiology and clinical course of toxocariasis. Development of diagnostic tests would enable clinicians to detect active infection, and determination of optimal drug regiments would ensure patients were appropriately treated. Addressing these public health gaps is necessary to understand and address the impact of toxocariasis in the United States.

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