Korean J Parasitol.  2020 Aug;58(4):413-419. 10.3347/kjp.2020.58.4.413.

Prevalence of Toxocariasis and Its Risk Factors in Patients with Eosinophilia in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology and Institute of Endemic Diseases, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
  • 2Department of Microbiology, Dongguk University College of Medicine, Gyeongju 38066, Korea
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
  • 4Division of Vectors and Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Osong 28159, Korea
  • 5Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul 03080, Korea
  • 6Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
  • 7Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine and Institute of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea

Abstract

Eosinophilia occurs commonly in many diseases including allergic diseases and helminthic infections. Toxocariasis has been suggested as one cause of eosinophilia. The present study was undertaken to examine the prevalence of toxocariasis in patients with eosinophilia and to identify the risk factors for toxocariasis. This prospective cohort study recruited a total of 81 patients with eosinophilia (34 males and 47 females) who visited the outpatient clinic at Seoul National University Hospital from January 2017 to February 2018 and agreed to participate in this study. The prevalence of toxocariasis was examined by T. canis-specific ELISA, and the various risk factors for toxocariasis were evaluated by a questionnaire survey. Among 81 patients with eosinophilia, 18 were positive for anti-T. canis antibodies (22.2%); 88.9% were male (16/18) and 11.1% were female (2/18). Multivariate statistical analysis revealed that males (OR 21.876, 95% CI: 1.667-287.144) with a history of consuming the raw meat or livers of animals (OR 5.899, 95% CI: 1.004-34.669) and a heavy alcohol-drinking habit (OR 8.767, 95% CI: 1.018-75.497) were at higher risk of toxocariasis in patients with eosinophilia. Toxocariasis should be considered a potential cause of eosinophilia when the patient has a history of eating the raw meat or livers of animals in Korea. A single course of albendazole is recommended to reduce the migration of Toxocara larvae in serologically positive cases with eosinophilia.

Keyword

toxocariasis; eosinophilia; risk factor; raw meat; raw liver
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