Causes of Ascariasis


Cause details for Ascariasis: Almost more than any other parasitic disease, human carelessness causes ascaris. Human feces in streets, fields, and yards are a major source of infective eggs in heavily populated areas. The eggs of ascarids do not infect humans when first excreted by the worm. The eggs are very resistant to extremes of temperature and humidity. They usually are transmitted by hand to mouth, although the use of human feces as fertilizer may also permit transmission of infective eggs by food that is grown in the soil and eaten without being thoroughly washed. The eggs require several weeks to develop and become infective.1

Other species of ascarids such as Toxocara, which infect dogs and cats, can, under certain circumstances, be picked up by humans. In dogs and cats, these ascarids have a migratory cycle similar to A. lumbricoides. In humans, however, they fail to reach the intestine. Instead they remain active in other body tissue for some time. This state of larval migration is known as visceral larva migrans. 1

Related information for causes of Ascariasis: Further relevant information on causes of Ascariasis may be found in the risk factors for Ascariasis and underlying causes of Ascariasis.

1. excerpt from Parasitic Roundworm Diseases, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID

Last revision: June 13, 2003

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