Toxocara-induced neural larva migrans (neurotoxocarosis) in rodent model hosts
Neural larva migrans (NLM), or neurotoxocarosis, induced by Toxocara canis or Toxocara cati results from migrating and persisting larvae in the central nervous system of paratenic hosts, including humans. As the diagnosis of NLM in humans is not straightforward, most knowledge on the disease is derived from only a few published clinical cases. To improve our understanding of human NLM, studies on the pathogenesis and clinical symptoms in laboratory animal model systems are indispensable, and rodents have been accepted as the most appropriate model organisms for NLM. As research has mostly focused on neuroinvasive T. canis-larvae, information regarding the pathogenesis of T. cati-induced NLM remains scarce. This review summarises the current state of knowledge on neuroinvasion by both T. canis and T. cati in different rodent model hosts, the resulting behavioural changes, and histopathological alterations during the course of NLM as well as the potential molecular pathogenic mechanisms.