Eosinophilia - Diagnosis, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Table of contents:

Eosinophilia - Diagnosis, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Eosinophilia - Diagnosis, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Video: Eosinophilia - Diagnosis, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Video: Eosinophilia - Diagnosis, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Video: AEC (Absolute Eosinophil Count) Test - An Overview 2023, December

Eosinophilia with allergy from worms is a fairly common disease in children and adults. Parasites that cause allergies can easily enter the body in a variety of ways.

The content of the article:

  • 1 Changes in tests: allergies or worms
  • 2 Allergy from worms
  • 3 Uninvited guests are parasites
  • 4 What is eosinophilia
  • 5 Eosinophilia is a symptom or disease
  • 6 Which allergic and parasitic diseases cause eosinophilia

    • 6.1 Allergic pathologies
    • 6.2 Parasitic pathologies
  • 7 Symptoms
  • 8 What tests will make it possible to clearly establish the diagnosis and distinguish allergy from helminthic lesions

    • 8.1 Diagnosis of allergic diseases
    • 8.2 Diagnosis of helminthiasis
  • 9 Treatment for parasites
  • 10 Myths and reality
  • 11 In conclusion

Changes in tests: allergies or worms

Successful treatment of any disease primarily depends on the establishment of the correct diagnosis. But it often happens that pathologies completely different in nature cause similar changes in the analyzes. One such striking example is eosinophilia in a clinical blood test, which can occur both in allergic diseases and in infection with worms.

Allergy from worms


Parasites can disrupt the normal permeability of the intestinal mucosa, which increases the risk of large undigested food particles entering it. This activates the body's immune response - the level of eosinophils increases - the protective blood cells of our body, which contribute to the development of an allergic reaction.

Parasites cause an increased production of immunoglobulin E by the body, which intensifies allergic reactions.

Ascaris allergen is the most potent of the parasitic allergens. It causes reactions in the lungs, skin, conjunctiva, gastrointestinal tract.

In addition, pinworms, toxocara, trichinella, hookworms, strongyloids, opisthorchias, paragonims, fasciola, lamblia, candida, etc., provoke an allergic reaction by their presence.

In addition to allergies, a person with worms usually shows signs such as:

  1. Digestive disorders - recurrent pain in the navel, nausea in the morning, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation, weight loss with a preserved or increased appetite.
  2. Nervous system problems - insomnia, irritability, distraction.
  3. General intoxication - malaise, pallor, increased fatigue, frequent headaches.
  4. Deterioration of the condition of the skin and its appendages - brittle nails, cracked heels.
  5. Decreased immunity - exacerbation of existing chronic diseases, increased susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections, growth of neoplasms on the skin and organs.

The appearance of these symptoms is associated with the characteristics of the vital activity of the parasites. In the human body, all the worms that cause allergies and other symptoms go through approximately the same stages of development from eggs and larvae to adults. This process can last for different times depending on the type of helminth - 3 weeks in pinworms, 4 months in ascaris, or about a year in filarias. Some parasites pass the entire cycle in the intestines (tapeworms, broad tapeworm), others are able to live in different organs (echinococcus larvae). Still others change their habitat depending on the stage of development (Trichinella larvae prefer muscles, and adults live in the intestines, ascaris larvae infect the lungs, and sexually mature individuals parasitize in the small intestine).

Uninvited guests are parasites

In the body of an adult healthy person, parasites will have several protective barriers. In the mouth there are enzymes that are harmful to the eggs of worms. If they break through the first barrier, they will be stopped by the aggressive acidic environment of the stomach. And the local intestinal immunity, which produces antibodies, will destroy the most persistent representatives. In a child's - not yet formed - organism, these protective barriers may not work, as in a weakened adult organism.

The further life path of the helminth depends on the type of pathogen. For example, ascaris parasitizes in the intestines. But first it goes through the blood vessels, liver, bronchi and lungs, causing the corresponding symptoms. Then the helminths enter the oral cavity through the respiratory tract, are swallowed again, and only then develop in the intestines into adults, settling for a permanent place of residence. This is where reproduction begins. A female roundworm can lay up to 25,000 eggs per day.

The clinical manifestations of helminthiasis are also more pronounced in children than in adults. Using nutrients for their development, as well as disrupting their absorption in the intestines and poisoning the child's body with metabolic products, helminths negatively affect the child's health. Over time, a cheerful and active child can become lethargic and moody. He quickly gets tired, allergic reactions appear, including skin reactions, such as rash, hives, redness and irritation.


Allergists say that more than half of all allergic reactions are the result of existing or once experienced helminthiasis. Parasites negatively affect the body's defenses, and this leads to a decrease in immunity, which in turn leads to an increase in the frequency of acute respiratory and infectious diseases, prolongation and complication of their course.

Parasites are usually divided into intestinal and extraintestinal helminths. As the name implies, in the first case, the worms and their larvae live in the intestine, and in the second - outside it: in the muscles, lungs, liver and other organs. With the flow of blood, they can spread to any corner of the human body and settle there for a long time.

The most common helminthic diseases are intestinal: enterobiasis (pinworms), ascariasis (roundworms) and toxocariasis (toxocaras).

What is eosinophilia

This name is a condition in which the number of eosinophils in the blood increases sharply. At the same time, infiltration, or soaking of the surrounding tissues with eosinophils, is also observed. Eosinophils are a subtype of white blood cells, leukocytes. They are responsible for many functions of the immune system, for example, they have the ability to absorb foreign cells and particles.

In addition, they are actively involved in allergic processes by binding or releasing histamine. That is, they can both stimulate allergies and perform antiallergic function. Also, eosinophils play an important role in protecting the body from helminth parasites, destroying their cells.

Accordingly, both with allergies and with helminthic invasion, the production of these cells in the bone marrow increases - and a condition called eosinophilia develops. But the same duality of eosinophil functions can lead to diagnostic errors.

Eosinophilia is a symptom or disease


Eosinophilia is not an independent disease. It serves only as a sign of many allergic, infectious, autoimmune and other pathologies. The list of these diseases is quite wide, but persistent eosinophilia is often a symptom of helminthic lesions or allergic reactions.

The normal content of eosinophils in the blood of an adult is from 120 to 350 cells per microliter, which is approximately 5-6% of the total number of leukocytes. There are 3 degrees of eosinophilia:

  1. Insignificant - eosinophils make up 6-10% of the total number of leukocytes.
  2. Moderate - eosinophils account for 10-20% of the total number of leukocytes.
  3. High - eosinophils account for more than 20% of the total number of leukocytes.

Which allergic and parasitic diseases cause eosinophilia?

Allergic pathologies

  • bronchial asthma (with it, eosinophils can be found in the patient's sputum);
  • atopic dermatitis;
  • hay fever;
  • serum sickness;
  • allergic rhinitis (in this case, eosinophils are found even in the nasal discharge);
  • eosinophilic myositis and fasciitis;
  • hay fever;
  • hives;
  • Quincke's edema;
  • eosinophilic colitis of newborns;
  • eosinophilic cystitis.

Parasitic pathologies

  • Eosinophilia


  • schistosomiasis;
  • hookworm disease;
  • trichinosis;
  • strongyloidosis;
  • giardiasis;
  • filariasis;
  • opisthorchiasis;
  • toxocariasis;
  • fascioliasis;
  • paragonimiasis.


The clinical signs of this condition will depend on the disease that caused them.

Helminthic and other parasitic lesions, in addition to increasing the content of eosinophils in the blood, are characterized by:

  • lymphadenopathy - an increase and soreness of the lymph nodes;
  • hepatosplenomegaly - enlarged liver and spleen;
  • symptoms of general intoxication of the body in the form of nausea, weakness, decreased appetite, headaches and dizziness, increased body temperature;
  • pain in muscles and joints;
  • during migration of larvae - Leffler's syndrome, which includes shortness of breath, chest pain and cough with an asthmatic component;
  • an increase in heart rate;
  • lowering blood pressure;
  • swelling on the eyelids and on the face;
  • a rash on the skin.

Allergic diseases in which eosinophilia develops are manifested:

  • swelling of the nasal mucosa with allergic rhinitis;
  • redness of the conjunctiva and pain in the eyes with allergic conjunctivitis;
  • bronchospasm, shortness of breath and wheezing with asthma-like allergies;
  • sometimes true asthma attacks;
  • ear pain and hearing impairment due to poor drainage of the Eustachian tube, due to tissue edema;
  • various skin rashes, such as hives, eczema or contact dermatitis (most often symmetrically on the elbows, abdomen and groin);
  • headaches.

What tests will make it possible to clearly establish the diagnosis and distinguish allergy from helminthic lesions

Diagnosis of allergic diseases

The simplest method for diagnosing allergies is skin testing. They are also called scarification or prick tests. In this case, a small amount of each of the suspected allergens is injected into the skin on the inner surface of the forearm or on the back. The area of introduction is pre-marked with a special hypoallergenic felt-tip pen or pen.

If the patient is allergic to any of the injected substances, then usually an inflammatory reaction develops at this place within half an hour. The severity of the allergic response can range from mild reddening of the skin to the appearance of hives.

Testing the level of immunoglobulin E in the patient's blood serum is another method for detecting allergies. Usually, a colorimetric test, a radiometric immunoassay, or a radioallergosorbent test (RAST) is used.

Diagnostics of helminthiasis


Methods for diagnosing helminthiasis are extremely diverse and are divided into direct and indirect. Direct methods for diagnosing helminthiasis include those based on the direct detection of the helminths themselves and their fragments, as well as their larvae or eggs. These methods, in turn, are divided into macro- and microhelminthoscopic.

With macrohelmitoscopy, bodies of helminths or their fragments in feces are searched for. First, the feces are liquefied in a Petri dish, and then examined against a dark background with the naked eye. If suspicious particles are found, they are examined with a powerful magnifying glass in a drop of glycerin. Microhelminthoscopy allows the detection of helminth larvae and eggs. This research method is carried out using a laboratory microscope.

Indirect methods for diagnosing helminthiasis are based on identifying secondary changes, that is, changes that have occurred in the patient's body when exposed to helminths. Immunological methods are considered the most modern today. Of these, cutaneous and intradermal tests, the reaction of indirect hemagglutination, ring precipitation, etc. are used.

Treatment for parasites

The treatment of parasites in the intestines is in the competence of the parasitologist. Modern medicine has at its disposal more than 10 drugs with anthelmintic activity. You should not assign them yourself, since they all have specific activity in relation to different types of parasites.

It is impossible to determine independently what type of worms lives in the patient's intestines. A doctor cannot do this based only on the patient's complaints. Therefore, to clarify the diagnosis, laboratory tests will be required. Only on the basis of the data obtained will it be possible to draw up a truly effective treatment regimen.

Depending on the type of parasite, the patient may be prescribed drugs with one of the following active ingredients:

  • Mebendazole (Vermox, Wormin, etc.).
  • Levamisole (Decaris).
  • Piperazine adipate.
  • Befenia hydroxy naphthoate.
  • Albendazole (Nemozole, Vormil).
  • Praziquantel.
  • Pirantel pamoat (Pirantel, Nemocid, Helmintox).

It should be understood that drugs for worms have certain contraindications and can give a wide variety of side effects. Therefore, the dosage and duration of the course of treatment should be determined only by the doctor. This largely depends on the age of the patient, on his weight, on the presence of concomitant diseases.

Since some drugs are not capable of destructively affecting the eggs of parasites, a repeated course of anthelmintic therapy may be required.

During treatment, the patient should adhere to a dietary diet. In some cases, a cleansing enema is recommended in order to quickly remove parasites from the body.

In the recovery period, which occurs after the elimination of helminths from the body, the intestinal microflora is corrected for patients, and it is possible to take drugs aimed at strengthening the immune system. For these purposes, enterosorbents, immunostimulants, enzyme and bacterial preparations, and herbal adaptogens are used.

As for the protozoal parasites that live in the human body, their elimination requires the use of special antiprotozoal drugs. It can be Tinidazole, Metronidazole, Ornidazole, Nimorazole, Furazolidone, etc. Therapy is also selected individually and directly depends on the type of parasite. In some cases, hospitalization of patients is required.

The effectiveness of therapy with a well-designed treatment regimen for parasites in the intestine reaches 95-100%. However, re-infection is not excluded.

Myths and reality


Myth 1: It is believed that all animals are dangerous carriers of helminthiasis. Moreover, pet owners are convinced that this applies to absolutely everyone - except for their own pet. "Others are undoubtedly dirty and sick, but mine is perfectly healthy and does not need any treatment."

Reality: Any domestic animal (dogs, cats, rodents) can become a carrier of parasites dangerous for humans.

Myth 2: Pet deworming should only be done before vaccination.

Reality: Deworming should be carried out once a quarter (once every 3 months), that is, at least four times a year. Only in this case you can be sure that the pet is healthy and is not a carrier of parasites. Your veterinarian will advise you on the specific drug for your pet.

Attention: antihelminthic drugs that are suitable for animals cannot be used for treating humans!

Myth 3: Cats and dogs are carnivores and need raw meat and fish. By this, according to the owners, they not only pay tribute to nature, but also provide their pet with a good mood.

Reality: Modern pet food fully meets the pet's nutritional needs. And through raw meat and fish, there is a guaranteed infection with dangerous parasites.


The identification of an increased number of eosinophils in a clinical blood test may be evidence not only of allergies or helminthic lesions. Eosinophilia can develop with many other diseases. After all, clinical practice and laboratory studies prove that an increase in this indicator is not specific to any pathology.

Its identification should only alert the doctor, force him to prescribe additional, more thorough and highly specialized examinations to the patient.

Therefore, before starting treatment for helminthiasis, allergic or any other disease, it is imperative to accurately determine the cause of the increase in the number of eosinophils.

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