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Free Content Seroepidemiology of Toxocara canis infection among mountain aboriginal schoolchildren living in contaminated districts in eastern Taiwan

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We conducted a seroepidemiological study of Toxocara canis infection among mountain aboriginal schoolchildren aged 7–12 years living in contaminated districts in eastern Taiwan. To detect sera IgG (≥1:64) we used a T. canis larval excretory-secretory antigen-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A short questionnaire elicited information on the practices of raising dogs, playing with soil, eating raw vegetables, or whether the child normally washed his/her hands before eating. The overall seroprevalence was quite high, reaching 76.6% (252/329). Neither age nor gender seemed to be important factors related to a positive serology. Aboriginal schoolchildren who raised dogs (OR = 1.83, 95% CI: 1.04–3.19, P = 0.03), or played with soil (OR = 2.52, 95% CI: 1.49–4.25, P < 0.001) seemed to be more susceptible to T. canis infection than those who did not. Children who habitually washed their hands before eating (OR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.33–0.97, P = 0.04) had a lower chance of acquiring T. canis infection than those who did not.

Keywords: Toxocara canis; aboriginal schoolchildren; eastern Taiwan; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan 2: School of Medicine, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan 3: Department of Parasitology, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taiwan

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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