Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Zoonotic disease
Human toxocariasis and neutering cats
  1. Ian Wright
  1. ESCCAP Secretariat, Malvern Hills Science Park, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3SZ
  1. email: info{at}

Statistics from

Human toxocariasis is a debilitating zoonotic disease, with Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati worms being a source of infective eggs in the environment from which human infection through ingestion can occur.

Toxocariasis is recognised by the World Health Organization as a neglected global zoonosis and infection can lead to visceral or ocular damage through larval migration. It is also a risk factor for chronic syndromes such as epilepsy and cognitive dysfunction.1 Although Public Health England only records a handful of confirmed cases in the UK each year, the non-specific signs and non-notifiable status of human toxocariasis means that many chronically debilitating cases are likely to be missed.

Fig 1: Unplanned kittens add to the cat population, potentially increasing the burden of Toxocara in the environmentPhotograph: S. Jarvis

One of the often overlooked sources of environmental contamination with Toxocara egg is stray cats. Cats with outdoor access, if not …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles