Cerebral toxocariasis: Silent progression to neurodegenerative disorders?

Chia Kwung Fan, Celia V. Holland, Karen Loxton, Ursula Barghouth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Toxocara canis and T. cati are highly prevalent nematode infections of the intestines of dogs and cats. In paratenic hosts, larvae do not mature in the intestine but instead migrate through the somatic tissues and organs of the body. The presence of these migrating larvae can contribute to pathology. Toxocara larvae can invade the brains of humans, and while case descriptions of cerebral toxocariasis are historically rare, improved diagnosis and greater awareness have contributed to increased detection. Despite this, cerebral or neurological toxocariasis (NT) remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Furthermore, our understanding of cognitive deficits due to toxocariasis in human populations remains particularly deficient. Recent data describe an enhanced expression of biomarkers associated with brain injury, such as GFAP, AβPP, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), NF-L, S100B, tTG, and p-tau, in mice receiving even low doses of Toxocara ova. Finally, this review outlines a hypothesis to explore the relationship between the presence of T. canis larvae in the brain and the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) due to enhanced AD-associated neurodegenerative biomarker expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-686
Number of pages24
JournalClinical Microbiology Reviews
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Toxocariasis
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Larva
Toxocara
Toxocara canis
Intestines
Alzheimer Disease
Biomarkers
Nematode Infections
Brain
Transforming Growth Factors
Brain Injuries
Ovum
Cats
Dogs
Pathology
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Cerebral toxocariasis : Silent progression to neurodegenerative disorders? / Fan, Chia Kwung; Holland, Celia V.; Loxton, Karen; Barghouth, Ursula.

In: Clinical Microbiology Reviews, Vol. 28, No. 3, 2015, p. 663-686.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fan, Chia Kwung ; Holland, Celia V. ; Loxton, Karen ; Barghouth, Ursula. / Cerebral toxocariasis : Silent progression to neurodegenerative disorders?. In: Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2015 ; Vol. 28, No. 3. pp. 663-686.
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