When a Larva Migrates…

Date of submission: 15-02-2020 | Date of acceptance: 12-05-2020 | Published: 02-10-2020


  • Filipa da Costa Cascais Pediatrics Department, Garcia de Orta Hospital, Almada, Portugal
  • Marta Martins Pediatrics Department, Garcia de Orta Hospital, Almada, Portugal
  • Sofia Fraga Pediatrics Department, Garcia de Orta Hospital, Almada, Portugal




Toxocariasis is a frequent zoonosis, yet usually neglected. Children are commonly infected. Clinical findings are vast and may cause serious complications. Treatment with antiparasitic drugs should be weighted against clinical severity.

The authors present a case of a twenty-three-month old boy diagnosed with a lobar pneumonia due to fever, cough and a heterogeneous opacity in the right apex. Laboratory evaluation pointed out 40% (10.64 109/L) eosinophilia and haemoglobin 8.9 g/dL. An iron-deficiency anaemia due to dietary errors, an eating behaviour disorder (geophagia) and frequent contact with domestic animals were also identified. Parasitic infections studies were carried out, with Toxocara spp. antibodies positive.

Due to the unspecificity of clinic manifestations it is necessary a high level of suspicion to make the diagnosis of toxocariasis. Some behaviours contribute to its transmission. Etiological investigation of eosinophilia in paediatric age should include parasitic infections. Prevention of this infection should be a priority.


Key-words: toxocariasis, eosinophilia, geophagia, iron-deficiency anaemia.


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