The diagnosis of "toxocarosis" even nowadays is very difficult. This is due to the fact that the helminths that infect humans are not specific for it and do not parasitize as most types of worms in the intestine. No larvae that get into the body from dirty hands, vegetables or greens, affect vital organs and cause the development in them of serious, often life-threatening diseases. Until the mature stage they do not develop and eggs do not delay, respectively, to identify toxocarosis with the help of stool analysis is impossible. To diagnose toxocariasis it is necessary to donate blood for the presence in it of antibodies to the antigens of these helminths. Only this method of investigation is the most reliable for this invasion.
Many patients are interested in why the doctor recommends, in addition to the necessary blood test, to give PCR to the feces if they suspect a Toxocara canis infection. This need is due to the fact that some helminthiases have symptoms similar to toxocariasis, for example, opisthorchiasis and ascariasis. In order to understand whether they were the cause of the appearance of signs of invasion, specialists and prescribe a diagnostic study of stool by PCR.What is the direct examination for toxocariasis? To identify the causative agent of this disease in the patient, the following diagnostic methods are used:
- Serological test by ELISA shows the presence or absence of antibodies to the antigens of these parasites in the human blood. The disease will be confirmed only if the detected titer is above 1/200;
- Biochemical blood test, according to which specialists determine the presence of pathological agents due to the increased level of immunoglobulins and increase in the parameters of liver enzymes;
- A general blood test also helps diagnose toxocar. Thanks to him, doctors detect eosinophilia, which indicates this helminthiasis and indicates the development of an allergic reaction.
All of the above laboratory tests are effectively used not only to detect toxocariasis in humans, but also to monitor the quality of the treatment. Changes in them in the form of acceleration of ESR, leukocytosis and eosinophilia help to suspect the presence of toxocarosis in the patient, and with the greatest accuracy it is diagnosed during the immunological examination. It is prescribed to those patients whose suspicion of the disease has arisen due to close contact with animals, especially dogs.
Diagnosis of toxocariasis in children
Babies are more likely to infect eggs with these helminths. This is due to the fact that they have constant contact with soil or sand, where the animals that are possible carriers of pathogens have defecated. In addition, small children without fear pulling objects lifted from the ground to explore for taste, and on any of them can be eggs of these dangerous worms for humans, got there from the feces of the animal. That is why the diagnosis of toxocarosis in children is given great importance.
How does the examination of small patients for the presence of this helminthic invasion occur? While carrying out the study, it is necessary to confirm the presence of larvae in the tissues of organs, but performing a histological section for this is a difficult procedure. The most effective method of diagnosing toxocariasis is an enzyme immunoassay. Titles from 1/200 to 1/400 indicate that the child is the carrier of these parasites and the invasion has a favorable course. And in the case when they are above 1/800, it is an acute form of helminthiosis, which requires immediate treatment.
Many parents who suspect that their worms have these worms are interested in what specialists should be treated in order to take emergency measures to cure the baby. First of all, you should consult a pediatrician. He will either send a small patient to a diagnostic blood test using ELISA, which will show the presence or absence of antibodies to toxocar antigens, or advise a parasitologist, infectiologist or gastroenterologist.
- A preliminary diagnosis of toxocarosis by a physician can be established by the child on the basis of the following data:
- Collected anamnesis confirming the possibility of infection( presence of a home of a non-undelminthic dog, frequent contact with sand);
- The presence of a pronounced symptomatology corresponding to the disease;
- Eosinophilia in the blood.
For its specification, a serological study is conducted. High titers of antibodies found during its carrying out, say that the child is diagnosed with toxocariasis and he needs a specific treatment, which should be selected only by a specialist.