Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders-Drug Targets

(Formerly Current Drug Targets - Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders)

Emilio Jirillo  
Universitá degli Studi di Bari
Dipartimento di Clinica Medica
Immunologia e Malattie Infettive
Sezione di Microbiologia e Immunologia
Piazza Giulio Cesare-Policlinico


Toxocara infection and its Association with Allergic Manifestations

Author(s): Elena Pinelli and Carmen Aranzamendi

Affiliation: Diagnostic Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Perinatal Screening, Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

Keywords: Allergy, asthma, helminths, toxocara, immune responses, Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati, immunological mechanisms, zoonotic infection, hyper-secretion, EPIDEMIOLOGY, ophthalmologic


Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati are roundworms of dogs and cats that can also infect humans worldwide. Although these parasites do not reach the adult stage in the human host the larvae migrate to different organs and can persist for many years. Migration of larvae through the lungs may result in respiratory distress such as wheezing, coughs, mucous production and hyper-reactivity of the airways. Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest that infection with this helminth contributes to the development of allergic manifestations, including asthma. These findings are however conflicting since in others studies no association between these two immunopathologies has been found. This article reviews information on Toxocara spp. and findings from epidemiological and experimental studies on the association between Toxocara infection and allergic manifestations. In addition, the immunological mechanisms and the factors involved in the helminth allergy-association are discussed.

Order Reprints Order Eprints Rights & PermissionsPrintExport

Article Details

Page: [33 - 44]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/187153012799278956