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Reconsidering Ancylostoma ceylanicum

Clinician's Brief (Capsule)

Parasitology

|November 2014

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Recent epidemiologic surveys have determined that Ancylostoma ceylanicum is the second most common hookworm species infecting humans in Asia. A ceylanicum was originally found in humans in such low numbers as not to cause clinical concern. However, where A ceylanicum is endemic in dogs and cats, its prevalence in humans is rising.

Experimental infection of human volunteers with A ceylanicum produced skin lesions in those infected cutaneously and abdominal symptoms (eg, GI discomfort, flatulence, diarrhea) in all who developed a patent infection. Natural infection is also under investigation; in some human patients, a single visualized and positively identified A ceylanicum worm was implicated as the cause of symptoms (eg, abdominal pain, nausea, poor appetite). As with other zoonoses and public health concerns, it is important to take a One Health approach to controlling A ceylanicum by combining chemotherapeutic interventions with improved sanitation. This is particularly important in communities where the parasite is endemic and humans live in close contact with dog and cat reservoirs (eg, Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, South Africa).

Commentary

Although A ceylanicum is not endemic in North America, veterinarians should know important aspects of this parasite. Because of recent molecular diagnostic advances, we now know A ceylanicum is the second most common hookworm infecting humans in Asia. Human infections have been reported in almost all regions where A ceylanicum is known to infect dogs and cats. While anthelmintic therapy in humans has been endorsed, and likely controls morbidity, it most likely does not impact reinfection rates. Parasite populations vary from region to region; however, using proper treatment and preventive strategies for community dogs and cats has a positive impact on Ancylostoma spp infections in humans.—Chris Adolph, DVM, MS

Source

Ancylostoma ceylanicum, a re-emerging but neglected parasitic zoonosis. Traub RJ. INT J PARASITOL 43:1009-1015, 2013.

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