Seasonal variation in the prevalence of Toxocara eggs on children’s playgrounds in the city of Hanover, GermanyReportar como inadecuado

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Parasites and Vectors

, 10:248

First Online: 19 May 2017Received: 08 March 2017Accepted: 12 May 2017DOI: 10.1186-s13071-017-2193-6

Cite this article as: Kleine, A., Springer, A. & Strube, C. Parasites Vectors 2017 10: 248. doi:10.1186-s13071-017-2193-6


BackgroundRoundworms of the genus Toxocara are worldwide distributed zoonotic parasites of carnivores. Based on case numbers and the potential impact on human health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC categorised toxocarosis as one of the most important neglected parasitic diseases. As contact with contaminated soil, e.g. in sandpits, is considered the primary transmission route, data on playground contamination are needed to assess infection risk for children. Here, playground contamination rates and their seasonal variation in the city of Hanover, Germany, were investigated.

MethodsSand samples were collected monthly over a 12-month period on 46 playgrounds in the city of Hanover, Germany. In total, 1,362 samples were examined for Toxocara eggs and analysed statistically for seasonal influences on potential infection risk.

ResultsContamination rates ranged from 6.5% 3-46 Toxocara positive sandpits in September to 41.3% 19-46 in February, while contamination with infective embryonated eggs varied between 2.2% 1-46 and 23.9% 11-46. Compared to September, the month with the lowest contamination rate, significantly more sandpits were positive for Toxocara eggs from January to August and in October, while the prevalence of infective Toxocara eggs was significantly increased only in January and February. Regarding egg numbers, significantly higher total counts were observed in October and from December to June, while infective egg counts were significantly increased only in January, February and April.

ConclusionsCompared to data from 1985, contamination rates have dropped from 55.8% to an average of 23.2% in 2011. Even though the observed egg numbers indicate a moderate to low general infection risk, the potential risk to single individuals should not be underestimated, as highly contaminated spots may occur infrequently and independent of season.

KeywordsToxocara Roundworms Zoonosis Geohelminths Soil-transmitted helminths Playgrounds Sandpits Soil Children AbbreviationsGLMMsGeneralised linear mixed models

OLMOcular larva migrans syndrome

VLMVisceral larva migrans syndrome

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s13071-017-2193-6 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Autor: Annika Kleine - Andrea Springer - Christina Strube


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