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Toxocariasis is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Worldwide helminthic infection of humans, agent nematodes: Toxocara canis (dog roundworm) and less frequently Toxocara cati (cat roundworm).
  • Humans infected, accidental hosts by ingesting eggs from contaminated soil [life cycle Fig. 1] by feces of infected dogs or cats.
    • Usually overcrowded, poor living conditions with dogs or cats.
      • Ingested eggs evolve to larval forms penetrating intestinal mucosa with subsequent spread to a variety of body organs (visceral larval migrans, VLM and/or eyes, ocular larval migrans, OLM) in an arrested development, no ongoing production. Host inflammatory reactions produce symptoms as parasites die off.
      • Human infection does not yield egg production, hence inspection of stool O&P pointless.
  • Baylisascaris procyonis (raccoon roundworm, worldwide including U.S.) has been reported to also cause VLM (mainly CNS forms, eosinophilic meningoencephalitis) and OLM.
  • Note: cutaneous larval migrans (CLM) is caused by a number of nematodes, most commonly hookworm (Ancylostoma braziliense)

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Last updated: February 1, 2016


Auwaerter, Paul. "Toxocariasis." Johns Hopkins ABX Guide, The Johns Hopkins University, 2016. Pediatrics Central, peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540557/all/Toxocariasis.
Auwaerter P. Toxocariasis. Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540557/all/Toxocariasis. Accessed March 19, 2019.
Auwaerter, P. (2016). Toxocariasis. In Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. Available from https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540557/all/Toxocariasis
Auwaerter P. Toxocariasis [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins ABX Guide. The Johns Hopkins University; 2016. [cited 2019 March 19]. Available from: https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540557/all/Toxocariasis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Toxocariasis ID - 540557 A1 - Auwaerter,Paul,M.D. Y1 - 2016/02/01/ BT - Johns Hopkins ABX Guide UR - https://peds.unboundmedicine.com/pedscentral/view/Johns_Hopkins_ABX_Guide/540557/all/Toxocariasis PB - The Johns Hopkins University DB - Pediatrics Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -