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Systemic Toxocariasis

Last updated March 10, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH


The topic Systemic Toxocariasis you are seeking is a synonym, or alternative name, or is closely related to the medical condition Visceral Larva Migrans.

Quick Summary:

  • Visceral Larva Migrans (VLM) is a type of toxocariasis that occurs because of migration of the Toxocara larva within an affected individual, from one location to another in the body. The migrating larva move to different tissues and organs, provoking a body reaction/response, which results in the associated symptoms
  • Toxocariasis is a parasitic infection in humans caused by roundworms belonging to the genus Toxocara. This infection is transmitted from animals (commonly cats and dogs) to humans, making it a zoonotic infection
  • The infection occurs when a human ingests the parasite. This mostly occurs via contamination of one’s hands or food (prior to eating) with the feces of an infected animal. The infection can occur from ingestion of undercooked or raw meat/poultry that is infected
  • The signs and symptoms of Visceral Larva Migrans may vary from one individual to another, depending upon the number of larvae present in his/her body system and their specific location. The symptoms of VLM may include coughing, abdominal pain, and enlarged liver 
  • The treatment of Visceral Larva Migrans primarily involves the use of anti-parasitic drugs to eliminate the parasite from the body. Surgical intervention may be required to physically remove larvae from the affected organs or tissues
  • Delay in treatment or untreated infection can lead to complications, such as organ damage, cardiac arrest, blindness and epilepsy, among others. Nevertheless, the infection can be cured with prompt and adequate treatment

Please find comprehensive information on Visceral Larva Migrans regarding definition, distribution, risk factors, causes, signs & symptoms, diagnosis, complications, treatment, prevention, prognosis, and additional useful information HERE.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Oct. 10, 2017
Last updated: March 10, 2018