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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Apr 1;32(7):E111-6. Epub 2001 Mar 19.

Environmental exposure to Toxocara as a possible risk factor for asthma: a clinic-based case-control study.

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  • 1Medical Helminthology Laboratory, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale Children's Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


The zoonotic ascarid Toxocara has been suggested as a possible etiologic agent of asthma. We conducted a clinic-based case-control study to examine whether the zoonotic infection acquired by ingesting Toxocara eggs is associated with asthma in children. Blood samples were collected from children aged 2-15 years, 95 of whom had asthma and 229 of whom did not have asthma. Risk factors for asthma and Toxocara infection were assessed by a questionnaire given to each child's parent or legal guardian. Blood samples were tested for the presence of Toxocara antibodies, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. No significant association was found between Toxocara infection and asthma. Significant associations were found between asthma and risk factors and between Toxocara infection and risk factors. High prevalence of Toxocara infection was noted among Hispanic children of Puerto Rican descent.

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