Toxocariasis: critical analysis of serology in patients attending a public referral center for ophthalmology in Brazil
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To analyze the contribution of IgG anti-Toxocara antibodies in the diagnosis of ocular toxocariasis (OT) in serum samples of patients attending a public referral center for ophthalmology in Brazil and to determine the most frequent ocular signs and symptoms.
This was a retrospective descriptive study of a cohort of outpatients followed from December 1989 to May 2006.
IgG anti-Toxocara antibody titers were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results were correlated with the clinical and funduscopic findings.
Of the diagnoses for the 126 patients, 42 were considered as probable OT, 48 as negative, and 36 as inconclusive. The median IgG anti-Toxocara antibody titers of the patients with probable OT were significantly higher than those of the patients in the negative or inconclusive groups (P = 0.0001). Higher titers were observed more frequently in patients in the probable OT group (P = 0.01) than in the negative group, in which titers were absent or lower in most patients (P < 0.0001). The right eye was affected more in the OT group than in the negative group (P = 0.01), and inflammation was located mostly in the intermediate and posterior poles. The mean age of the patients diagnosed with probable OT was significantly lower (mean, 8 years) than that of the negative patients (mean, 14.5 years) (P = 0.006).
Higher levels of antibodies could help with the diagnosis of OT in patients with symptoms and clinical signs; however, negative results cannot exclude possible OT. Conversely, patients with negative serology or low titers make the diagnosis of OT less likely.
KeywordsToxocara species Ocular toxocariasis IgG anti-Toxocara antibodies
This work was supported by Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP Project Number 1234).
Conflicts of interest
G R. -Elefant, None; J. H. Yamamoto, None; C. E. Hirata, None; L. E. P. -Carneiro None.
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