roundworms are intestinal parasites
found in many different animals. Baylisascaris infection
in humans is uncommon but can be severe. While Baylisascaris
can infect different types of animals, Baylisascaris procyonis,
carried by raccoons, is thought to pose the greatest risk to humans because raccoons often live in close proximity to humans.
Humans can acquire the parasite by ingesting the eggs of infected raccoons. Young children are at greatest risk for Baylisascaris
infection because they are more likely to put contaminated soil in their mouths.
Though rare, human infections can be severe if the parasite invades the eye (ocular larva migrans), organs
(visceral larva migrans), or the brain (neural larva migrans).
Symptoms of a Baylisascaris
infection may include nausea, fatigue, an enlarged liver, loss of coordination, lack of muscle control, blindness, and coma. Baylisascaris
infections cannot be spread from one person to another.
No drug has been found to be completely effective against Baylisascaris
infections in humans though albendazole has been used in some cases.
Last updated: 6/24/2015