Toxocariasis, one of a group of parasitic diseases known as neglected parasitic infections, is a disease caused by the larvae of two species of Toxocara roundworms, Toxocara canis, from dogs, and less commonly Toxocara cati, from cats. Although most infected individuals are asymptomatic, clinical manifestations may include fever, fatigue, coughing, wheezing, or abdominal pain (visceral toxocariasis) or vision loss, retina damage, or eye inflammation (ocular toxocariasis). To assess U.S. pediatrician knowledge of toxocariasis, we conducted an electronic survey of American Academy of Pediatrics members. Of the 2,684 respondents, 1,120 (47%) pediatricians correctly selected toxocariasis as the diagnosis in an unknown case presentation with findings typical for toxocariasis; overall 1,695 (85%) stated they were not confident that their knowledge of toxocariasis was current. This knowledge gap suggests a need for improved toxocariasis awareness and education for U.S. pediatricians, especially those caring for children at risk for infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases