Assessment of U.S. Pediatrician Knowledge of Toxocariasis

Dana M. Woodhall Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by Dana M. Woodhall in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Amanda P. Garcia Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by Amanda P. Garcia in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Craig A. Shapiro Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia;
Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by Craig A. Shapiro in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Shequenta L. Wray Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by Shequenta L. Wray in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Andi L. Shane Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia;
Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by Andi L. Shane in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Chitra S. Mani Georgia Regents Medical Center, Augusta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by Chitra S. Mani in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Kelly K. Stimpert Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
IHRC Inc., Atlanta, Georgia

Search for other papers by Kelly K. Stimpert in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
LeAnne M. Fox Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by LeAnne M. Fox in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Susan P. Montgomery Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;

Search for other papers by Susan P. Montgomery in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

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.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Susan P. Montgomery, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS A-06, Atlanta, GA 30333. E-mail: zqu6@cdc.gov

Authors’ addresses: Dana M. Woodhall, Amanda P. Garcia, Shequenta L. Wray, Kelly K. Stimpert, LeAnne M. Fox, and Susan P. Montgomery, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: danawoodhall@yahoo.com, apburke3@gmail.com, shequentawray@gmail.com, hen5@cdc.gov, lff4@cdc.gov, and zqu6@cdc.gov. Craig A. Shapiro and Andi L. Shane, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Inc., Atlanta, GA, E-mails: cshapi2@emory.edu and ashane@emory.edu. Chitra S. Mani, Department of Pediatrics, Augusta University Medical Center, Augusta, GA, E-mail: cmani@gru.edu.

  • 1.

    Glickman L, Schantz P, 1981. Epidemiology and pathogenesis of zoonotic toxocariasis. Epidemiol Rev 3: 230250.

  • 2.

    Rubinsky-Elefant G, Hirata CE, Yamamoto JH, Ferreira MU, 2010. Human toxocariasis: diagnosis, worldwide seroprevalences and clinical expression of the systemic and ocular forms. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 104: 323.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Won K, Kruszon-Moran D, Schantz P, Jones J, 2008. National seroprevalence and risk factors for zoonotic Toxocara spp. infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 79: 552555.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Despommier D, 2003. Toxocariasis: clinical aspects, epidemiology, medical ecology, and molecular aspects. Clin Microbiol Rev 16: 265272.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Taylor M, 2001. The epidemiology of ocular toxocariasis. J Helminthol 75: 109118.

  • 6.

    Hotez P, Wilkins P, 2009. Toxocariasis: America’s most common neglected infection of poverty and a helminthiasis of global importance? PLoS Negl Trop Dis 3: e400.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Past two years Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 29 29 14
Full Text Views 410 97 0
PDF Downloads 181 36 0
 
Membership Banner
 
 
 
Affiliate Membership Banner
 
 
Research for Health Information Banner
 
 
CLOCKSS
 
 
 
Society Publishers Coalition Banner
Save