Clinical, Serologic, and Epidemiologic Characteristics of Ocular Toxocariasis

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  • Parasitic Diseases Division, Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, St. Jude Hospital, Diagnostic Laboratory, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

The clinical, serologic, and epidemiologic characteristics of 17 cases of ocular toxocariasis (OT) were studied and compared with those of a control group of 15 cases of other ocular diseases whose differential diagnosis included retinoblastoma. The prevalence and mean titers of Toxocara antibody detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were greater (P < 0.005) for patients with OT than for the control group, but not all clinically diagnosed OT cases had detec table antibody. The prevalence of pica was significantly greater in cases than in controls (P < 0.05). Almost all case and control patients had a history of exposure to pet dogs and cats, but recent exposure to puppies (<3 months old) was significantly associated with Toxocara infection in this study group.