Toxocariasis In Adults - What Is It, Symptoms And Treatment

Table of contents:

Toxocariasis In Adults - What Is It, Symptoms And Treatment
Toxocariasis In Adults - What Is It, Symptoms And Treatment

What are the characteristic symptoms of toxocariasis in adults, methods of treating pathology


  • 1 Description of the disease

    • 1.1 Clinical picture
    • 1.2 How to determine the presence of an ailment
  • 2 Treatment methods

    2.1 Medicines

Infection with human parasites is fraught with the development of such an ailment as toxocariasis. The disease is transmitted through roundworm eggs, which can form in the body of animals. Infection is possible through water or dirty hands, which have gotten dog or cat feces. Less commonly, toxocariasis is diagnosed in adults, the symptoms and treatment of which should be detected immediately and immediate therapy should be started.

Description of the disease


Toxocariasis is a parasitic disease caused by toxocariasis. It somewhat resembles a human nematode that provokes helminthiasis. It is not typical for humans to be infected with such a parasite, because they mainly live on cats and dogs, but still, almost 3-4 out of 10 people are infected with toxocars.

A person can become infected through a pet, since the eggs of the parasite are on its fur and in saliva, and even more in feces. Soil and water are another variant of infection, which is especially noticeable in the autumn-summer period. Sometimes toxocar eggs can be found on unwashed and dirty vegetables, as they come into contact with the soil.

If a person is diagnosed with toxocariasis, the symptoms of the disease can differ significantly from person to person due to the huge number of forms of this disease. To explain this is very simple: eggs of parasites with unwashed vegetables, hands or contaminated water penetrate the intestines, where the process of hatching of larvae takes place. For this, the proximal department is selected.

They then pass through the mucous membrane into the bloodstream, liver and heart (right side). Migrating in this way along the vessels and arteries, the lumen of which allows them to do this, the larvae enter all organs. Treatment of toxocariasis will be very difficult and lengthy, because the entire body is infected and it manifests itself with a large number of different symptoms. Therapy can be performed by different specialists depending on the infected organ. A person may not know what toxocariasis is for several months or even years, being infected.

Clinical picture


Parasite evolution

Since toxocariasis manifests completely different and sometimes severe symptoms in humans, the patient will have to be patient in the fight against this ailment. The problem of the disease is that the larva, freed from the protective environment of the egg, bores any mucous and soft tissue with its sharp head. It also sinks into the vessels.

Treatment of toxocariasis is complicated by such a process of their rapid spread throughout the body. But thanks to protective forces, a person is able to independently suppress some of the appearance of the disease. So, having a high level of immunity, the patient will cause the death of the larvae by exposing them to protective bodies if the parasites have entered the bloodstream. This is the best scenario.

With an insufficiently strong level of protective forces, the larvae will penetrate into soft tissues and settle there. At this time, they do not cause much harm, since they are in a dormant state. They are inactive, as the immunity will be able to suppress their further movement. But during this period, a person is considered a carrier of the disease, therefore, toxocara treatment is carried out immediately, since the development of a latent form of the disease is possible, which is fraught with relapses.

If the patient has a weak level of defenses, the disease begins to actively progress. The bloodstream will immediately carry thousands of larvae to all tissues and organs. Penetrating into different parts of the human body, the larva releases toxins that are capable of destroying everything where they have penetrated. Most often, the following organs suffer from them:

  • Liver;
  • Eyeballs;
  • Brain;
  • A heart;
  • Lungs.

Symptoms of toxocara will directly depend on the site of infection and destruction. For example, a person whose central nervous system is attacked by parasites will complain of severe head pains and cramps. In severe cases, he is diagnosed with paralysis. All of these symptoms are signs of meningoencephalitis.

A person with a persistent paroxysmal cough, which is not a sign of a cold, can hear about what toxocariasis is. Doctors diagnose in this case the penetration of larvae into the lungs. If the symptoms of toxocara have affected the digestive tract (liver or pancreas), treatment will be aimed not only at getting rid of the parasite, but also at eliminating such signs:

  • Bitterness in the mouth;
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Pain in the abdomen.

Sinking into the eyeball, toxocara forms a seal inside it. Such a granule leads to visual impairment, which can lead to a complete loss of visual function. In this case, the transparency of the eye lenses decreases, and a specific tumor can be seen on the eye. This ailment is called granular endophthalmitis.

Other common concomitant symptoms of toxocariasis include:

  • Hives;
  • Fever;
  • Quincke's edema;
  • Asthma attacks;
  • Allergic reactions.

How to determine the presence of an ailment


Signs of the presence of a parasite in the body

It is difficult to detect the presence of toxocar in the human body, because the disease has no specific, visible signs. The only thing that can indicate the presence of a certain ailment is the general symptoms of parasitic invasion. Further actions that will help determine what a person has and whether it is toxocariasis will be associated with the delivery of tests. Only such diagnostic methods will help to identify such an ailment with great confidence.

Toxocariasis in humans develops in two forms. This can be a long chronic course of the disease or an acute form of the disease. The first option is a consequence of a neglected condition, when the presence of toxocariasis was not detected in time, and treatment in a person was not carried out at all. In parallel with this, the patient does not notice pronounced symptoms.

It is easiest to detect the presence of toxocara worms in the human body during the acute stage of the disease. The patient has a high temperature, malaise and general fatigue. A person suffers from muscle pain, he gets tired not only physically, but also emotionally. In parallel, his appetite and body weight decrease. On examination, doctors notice enlarged lymph nodes.

Toxocariasis in humans has mild symptoms, so very often the disease is detected quite by accident. A patient with such a diagnosis will suffer more and more often with various colds, infectious and viral diseases. The patient may notice problems related to the general condition of the skin, hair and nails. The immune system is significantly weakened.

When the respiratory system is affected by toxocariasis, the symptoms will be as follows:

  • Persistent bronchitis;
  • Heaviness when inhaling;
  • Dry cough;
  • Dyspnea;
  • Asthma attacks;
  • Catarrhal phenomena;
  • Bronchopneumonia;
  • Blue skin of the nasolabial triangle with a parallel symptom of suffocation.

If an X-ray is taken for a patient with such a diagnosis, the picture will show an increase in the pulmonary pattern, which shows broncho-pulmonary infiltration.

With ocular toxocariasis, the following symptoms are noticeable:

  • Bulging eyeball;
  • The conjunctiva turns red;
  • Puffiness of the eyelids;
  • Astigmatism;
  • Hyperemia of the orbit;
  • Bursting pain.

This form of the disease is rare. Only one eye is affected, and in most cases it is only 1 unit of the parasite. On examination by an ophthalmologist, movement of the larva will be noticeable.

The symptoms of toxocariasis, which develops in a visceral form, can be recognized by the following symptoms:

  • Bitter taste in the mouth;
  • Constant change of constipation with diarrhea;
  • Pain in the area under the ribs, approximately in the projection of the pancreas and liver;
  • Bloating and abdominal pain;
  • Decrease in body weight;
  • Feeling of heaviness in the hypochondrium;
  • Nausea after every meal
  • Signs of anemia.

This clinical picture is observed due to the process of outflow of pancreatic enzymes and bile into the duodenum. This is accompanied by trauma to the intestinal walls, as a result of which the patient feels constant pain and discomfort.

If toxocars have penetrated the heart, the person suffers from a characteristic heart cough when he is lying down. With this diagnosis, the patient's nails, fingers and nasolabial triangle turn blue, and shortness of breath appears. Swelling of the abdomen and limbs occurs.

If the focus of the lesion is the brain, the symptoms of toxocariasis will be as follows: a person may lose consciousness, his vestibular apparatus is disrupted, while a person can stagger, as if losing balance. Convulsions and epileptic seizures are observed. The patient may fall into a coma. A person with toxocar damage to the brain has a tremendous sensitivity to light and sound stimuli, and he also reacts to tactile sensations.



The patient suffers from a terrible headache, he feels fullness. Because of such an abundance of symptoms, a person becomes irritable, aggressive, insane. He will not be able to independently cope with difficult situations that require making a choice. In addition, the patient suffers from muscle pain, which can subsequently lead to complete immobilization of the body. In parallel, a person with such a serious lesion has nausea, and vomiting can be gushing.

Treatment methods

Treatment of toxocariasis in adults must be accompanied by correct and accurate diagnosis, which can only be done in a laboratory. In addition to the fact that a specialist must accurately confirm the presence of toxocara, it is important to find out its type. This is necessary to select the optimal treatment method and reduce the time of therapy.

There are 3 options for diagnosing toxocariasis:

  1. Blood test (biochemical option). The presence of the parasite will be indicated by high levels of bilirubin and liver enzymes.
  2. Immunoassay blood test. Such an accurate method of studying a biomaterial will help to find out not only the type of parasite, but also the size of the infection, the site of the lesion.
  3. General study of plasma. This method makes it possible to determine the presence of parasites or their absence. In the first case, an increase in ESR is noted, and in the second, a decrease.

Before treating toxocariasis, a physician can send a person for a number of other examinations. For example, it is often necessary to undergo an ultrasound scan, tomography, examination by an ophthalmologist.

Further treatment of toxocariasis in adults will be carried out according to the general scheme of therapy:

  • Destruction of parasitic invasion;
  • Getting rid of a person from unpleasant symptoms of the disease;
  • Treatment of emerging complications;
  • A set of actions aimed at improving and restoring the human body;
  • Therapy for allergic reactions that may still disturb the patient.

Due to the fact that it is impossible to relieve a person of toxocariasis guaranteed, he will often be prescribed repeated tests. This is done in order to confirm or deny the correctness of the chosen treatment method. If the patient's general condition does not improve, and the symptoms do not completely disappear, the selected drugs should be changed. If the number of larvae exceeds the permissible nome for drug treatment, doctors raise the question of surgical intervention.


Most often, such effective groups of drugs are used: antihistamines and anthelmintics. The latter group is capable of killing and removing parasite larvae from the human body. The antihistamine group of drugs is able to eliminate any symptomatic manifestations of such an ailment: skin rashes, allergic irritations.

The list of the most popular tablets includes the following names:

  • Thiabendazole;
  • Albendazole;
  • Mintezol;
  • Depo-medrol;
  • Medamin;
  • Mebendazole.











To check your condition, you should seek help from an infectious disease specialist. There is no single scheme for effective treatment, since it is impossible to completely and guaranteed to cure this disease. It all depends on the individual characteristics of a person, his level of immunity, the body's response to such an irritant. The course of treatment can be one-time with a mild form of infection, or it can last for several days, after which doctors re-prescribe tests to make sure that the chosen method is correct.

Much depends on the form of the disease and the focus of the lesion. So, the following medicines are usually prescribed in the following dosages:

  1. Mintezol 50 mg for each 1 kg per day. The course of treatment lasts about 5-10 days. The drug has no side effects and has no negative effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory system.
  2. Nemozole is drunk at 10 mg for every 1 kg per day. The course of treatment is 2-3 weeks. Side effects are possible in the form of nausea and diarrhea, abdominal pain. It is strictly forbidden to use for pregnant women.
  3. Vermox is drunk much longer - 2-4 weeks. The dosage is 100 mg twice a day. Side effects are rare. Nausea, vomiting, and headache are possible.
  4. Ditrazine has the same long course of treatment as the previous drug. It is prescribed in the amount of 5 mg for every 1 kg per day. There may be side effects in the form of the same headache, nausea. It is possible to raise the temperature and feel dizzy.

In addition to medicines, it is useful for a person to eat garlic and onions at this time, drink a decoction of St. John's wort and tansy. It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids, often rest and walk in the fresh air. At this time, special attention should be paid to hygiene measures, especially after bowel movement. Specialists must prescribe fortification to strengthen and increase the defenses of the patient's body.

Usually, treatment is carried out at home with the constant supervision of the attending physician, testing and adjusting the bite and drugs. In advanced cases, adult patients with toxocariasis may be referred for hospital treatment. This is justified, since the elimination of the larvae leads to obligatory complications. After themselves, parasites leave toxic waste, which become the cause of the development of adverse allergic reactions.

To restore the normal functioning of all systems and organs, a pathogenetic group of drugs is prescribed to a person. This includes the following categories of drugs:

  1. Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli for the normalization of the intestinal microfloa. This will allow you to put in order the emptying process if the patient is diagnosed with a visceral form of the disease.
  2. Glucocorticoids are capable of relieving allergic manifestations, and they also relieve inflammation. Outstanding representatives are Dexamethasone and Prednisolone.







  3. To rid the body of toxins that are released by parasites, adsorbents are used. The following names are used: Enterol and Smecta.
  4. Electrolyte solutions are injected intravenously to relieve symptoms of intoxication. This includes the following groups: Potassium Chloride, saline and Sodium Acetate.






    Potassium Chloride

In especially severe cases, an operation is indicated if the number of parasitic invasions exceeds the permissible norms. In any case, a person cannot get rid of such parasites on his own. This is a very complex form of infection, which is dangerous for its complications. You should not self-medicate so as not to aggravate the situation. Since the disease can be fatal, for any manifestation, you should go to an infectious disease specialist.

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