As there appeared to be no data available on Toxocara canis infection in the children of Swaziland, a serological survey of T. canis infection was recently conducted among 92 children aged 3-12 years from rural slums in the lowand middle-veld. A child was considered seropositive if, in western blots based on the excretory-secretory antigens of larval T. canis, his or her serum gave a positive result when diluted 1 : 64. Forty-one (44.6%) of the children were found seropositive. There were no statistically significant differences in seroprevalence between the 49 boys and 43 girls investigated (46.9% v. 41.8%) or between the eight subjects aged 12 years and the 47 aged (5 years (62.5% v. 38.3%); the corresponding odds ratios were 0.81 (95% confidence interval50.36-1.86; P50.62) and 2.69 (95% confidence interval50.57-12.62; P50.20), respectively. The 66 subjects from the middleveld were, however, significantly more likely to be seropositive than the 26 subjects from the lowveld (54.5% v. 19.2%; odds ratio55.04, with a 95% confidence interval of 1.70-14.98; P,0.01). It seems likely that T. canis infection is common among the children who live in slums in Swaziland, particularly in the country's middleveld, probably as the result of poor hygiene and poor sanitation.
- Infectious Diseases