Ascariasis


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ascariasis

[‚as·kə′rī·ə·səs]
(medicine)
Any parasitic infection of humans or domestic mammals caused by species of Ascaris.

Ascariasis

 

a helminthiasis of man and swine caused by infestation of the organism by the roundworms (nematodes) of the family Ascaridae. Ascariasis is prevalent all over the world except in desert regions and permafrost zones. The chief source of ascariasis infestation is soil contaminated with human excrement.

Ascariasis in humans. The eggs of ascarids are transmitted by dirty hands, unwashed vegetables, fruits, berries, and the like; flies transmit them mechanically. The disease has two phases: the early stage (migration of the larvae) and the later, or intestinal, stage (parisitization of the intestine by ascarids). In the first stage, changes in the lungs and liver are observed; coughing appears; sometimes bronchitis, pneumonia, or urticaria may develop. The second phase is most often characterized by gastrointestinal upsets, headaches, irritability, restless sleep, and decreased physical and mental activity. Ascarids may cause intestinal obstruction and a number of other complications. Diagnosis of ascariasis is confirmed by discovery of ascarid eggs in the feces of the patient. The treatment includes anthelminthic drugs, oxygen, and so on. The prophylaxis consists in observing the rules of personal hygiene (washing hands before eating, carefully washing vegetables, fruits, and berries with clean water, and protecting food from dust and flies). It is especially necessary to protect children from ascariasis, since they are more easily infected and more seriously affected. Public prophylaxis consists of installing sewer systems, water conduits, and lavatories with all the amenities.

A. I. KROTOV

Ascariasis in swine. Ascariasis in swine is observed in shoats two to six months old. Alternation of diarrhea and constipation is observed in infected pigs. They grow thin and are retarded in growth; in severe infestations convulsions and paralysis are observed. Accumulation of ascarids in the intestine may cause its wall to rupture. Treatment is aimed at the destruction and expulsion (dehelminthization) of the parasites from the pigs’ intestines by anthelminthic drugs. Prophylaxis consists of installing solid floors in pigsties and pasture areas and carefully cleaning the premises. On farms that are not prospering because of ascariasis, regular dehelminthization of the entire swine population is conducted in the spring and autumn.

REFERENCES

Leikina, E. S. Vazhneishie gel’mintozy cheloveka, [3rd ed.]. Moscow, 1967.
Pod”iapol’skaia, V. P., and V. F. Kapustin. Glistnye bolezni cheloveka, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1958.
Shevtsov, A. A. Veterinarnaia parazitologiia. Moscow, 1965.
Moskalev, B. S. “Askaridoz.” In Veterinarnaia entsiklopediia, vol. 1. Moscow, 1968.
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