Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Toxocara seroprevalence and risk factor analysis in four communities of the Wiwa, an indigenous tribe in Colombia

The life of the indigenous Wiwa tribe in northeast Colombia is characterized by lacking access to clean drinking water and sanitary installations. Furthermore, free-roaming domestic animals and use of yucca and/or manioc as a primary food source favor the transmission of soil-transmitted helminths, e.g., Toxocara canis and Toxocara cati, the roundworms of dogs and cats. Infection may result in the clinical picture of toxocarosis, one of the most common zoonotic helminthoses worldwide. To estimate the Toxocara seroprevalence in four different villages of the Wiwa community, serum samples from 483 inhabitants were analyzed for anti-Toxocara-antibodies. Overall, 79.3% (383/483) of analyzed samples were seropositive. Statistically significant differences were observed between the four villages, as well as age groups (adults > adolescents > children), while sex had no effect. The high seropositivity rate demonstrates the risk of zoonotic roundworm infections and potential clinical disease in vulnerable indigenous inhabitants.

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