Parasitic nematodes of the genus Toxocara are socioeconomically important zoonotic pathogens. These parasites are usually directly transmitted to the human host via the faecal–oral route and can cause toxocariasis and associated complications, including allergic and neurological disorders. Although tens of millions of people are estimated to be exposed to or infected with Toxocara spp, global epidemiological information on the relationship between seropositivity and toxocariasis is limited. Recent findings suggest that the effect of toxocariasis on human health is increasing in some countries. Here we review the salient background on Toxocara and biology, summarise key aspects of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of toxocariasis, describe what is known about its geographic distribution and prevalence, and make some recommendations for future research towards the prevention and control of this important disease.
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