Harley, John P. Department of Biological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky.
- Life cycle
- Prevention and control
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Baylisascaris procyonis is the raccoon (Procyon lotor) parasitic roundworm belonging to the phylum Nematoda. This large parasite is responsible for the disease baylisascariasis in animals and humans. The disease is manifested by severe or fatal visceral larval migrans, ocular larval migrans, and neurological disease (neurological larval migrans) in both animals and humans. Larval migrans is defined as the prolonged migration and persistence of helminth larvae in the organs and tissues of animals or humans. This infection is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an emerging zoonotic (referring to a disease of animals that is transmissible to humans) infection in the United States. It was first reported in the United States in 1931 from a raccoon in the New York Zoological Park. The infection appears to be common in raccoons from California, the Midwest, Northeast, Middle Atlantic region, and the mountainous areas of the southeast. The first human case was reported in 1984 in a 10-month-old child in Pennsylvania. To date (September 2006), 13 either severe or fatal cases have been reported and well documented in humans. The prevalence of subclinical cases is unknown.
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