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EPIDEMIOLOGY OF TOXOCARIASIS IN A STEPPE ENVIRONMENT: THE PATAGONIA STUDY

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology, Toulouse University Hospitals, Toulouse, France; Servicio de Inmunología Parasitaria, Departamento de Parasitologia, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas Anlis Carlos G. Malbràn, Buenos-Aires, Argentina; Departamento de Zoonosis, Direccion de Epidemiología, Secretaria de Estado de Salud, Provincia de Chubut, Argentina; Cátedra de Epidemiología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Argentina
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To investigate the epidemiology of human toxocariasis in a steppe environment, a field survey was carried out in three provinces of Argentina’s Patagonia (Chubut, Neuquen, and Rio Negro) among 114 rural subjects residing in estancias (cattle- or sheep-breeding ranches). Overall seroprevalence was 31.6%, and the contamination rate of soil by Toxocara eggs was 35.1%. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed for various exposure variables and also for the De Martonne aridity–humidity index. Multivariate analysis revealed that the seroprevalence rate was found to be inversely correlated with age but was positively linked to De Martonne index. These findings suggest that the harsh climatic conditions existing in Argentina’s Patagonia would inhibit embryonation of eggs in the soil, thus lowering the transmission of human toxocariasis.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Jean-François Magnaval, Department of Parasitology, CHU Rangueil, 31059 Toulouse 9, France. E-mail: magnaval@cict.fr.
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