Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ascariasis

Background

Ascariasis is the most common helminthic infection, with an estimated worldwide prevalence of 804 million cases in 2013.
Usually asymptomatic, ascariasis is most prevalent in children of tropical and developing countries,
where they are perpetuated by contamination of soil by human feces or use of untreated feces as fertilizer.
For more information on ascariasis in children, see the Medscape article Pediatric Ascariasis. Symptomatic ascariasis may manifest as growth retardation, pneumonitis, intestinal obstruction, or hepatobiliary and pancreatic injury. Ascariasis may exist as a zoonotic infection associated with pigs and use of hog manure,
but, in most endemic areas, it is most likely transmitted from person to person.

The image below depicts a roundworm that infects humans through soil contaminated by human feces.

Adult Ascaris lumbricoides.

Adult Ascaris lumbricoides.

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See Common Intestinal Parasites, a Critical Images slideshow, to help make an accurate diagnosis.

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