Toxocara canis (Visceral larva migrans)


Toxocara canis (Visceral larva migrans)


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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Toxocara canis (Visceral larva migrans)

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 7-year-old boy is brought to the physician due to abdominal pain and vomiting. The patient's symptoms started 5 days ago. Last week, he returned from a family trip to Mexico, during which they visited a zoo and several national parks. However, none of the patient’s family members have similar symptoms. Temperature is 38.5°C (101.3°F), blood pressure is 105/70 mmHg, and pulse is 68/min. On physical examination, abdominal tenderness and hepatosplenomegaly are noted. Laboratory findings reveal significant eosinophilia. The physician suspects a nematode infection that is transmitted via the fecal-oral route. Which of the following is the most likely cause of this patient’s condition?  

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Toxocara canis p. , 156


Toxocara canis p. , 156

Myocarditis p. 481

Toxocara canis p. , 156

Toxocara canis p. , 156


Toxocara canis is a parasitic helminth that infects humans through egg ingestion from dog fur, soil, or undercooked lamb or rabbit. Children are at higher risk of infection due to their tendency to play in soil or sand and put their hands in their mouths.

Symptoms may include fever, cough, wheezing, abdominal pain, and rash. In severe cases, the parasite can cause damage to the liver, lungs, or central nervous system. Treatment involves antiparasitic medications, such as albendazole or mebendazole, to kill the larvae. Corticosteroids may also be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.


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