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Toxocara seroprevalence among risk group for zoonotic distribution and healthy adults

Tatyana Cvetkova, Kalina Stoyanova


Introduction: Toxocarosis is a chronic zoonosis that occurs in a systemic, ocular or covert form. The infection is typical for children and presumably rare in adults.
Aim: The aim of the present study is to compare the seroprevalence of anti-Toxocara antibodies between a group with elevated risk for zoonotic distribution and healthy controls. Materials and Methods: The subject of the study is an actively selected group of 60 persons with increased occupational and/or behavioral risk for transmission of zoonoses (veterinarians, pet owners, etc.). The data concerning risk factors and clinical symptoms is gathered through individual questionnaires. The seroprevalence of anti-Toxocara antibodies was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and all positive results were verified with Western blot. The results were compared against a control group of randomly chosen 60 healthy adult blood donors.
Results and Discussion: The overall seroprevalence in the risk group is 8.33%, with higher rate in males - 15.8% than females - 4.8%. Unexpectedly higher levels (15.0%) were observed in the control group (23.3% males, 6.67% females). These results reveal previously undetected hidden morbidity among the adult population of northeastern Bulgaria and put toxocarosis at the head of distribution among parasitic zoonoses in the region. The lower seroprevalence status of the risk group can be attributed to the increased awareness and active prophylaxis of the zoonotic diseases by the veterinarians and pet owners.


toxocarosis; seroprevalence; ELISA; Western blot

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