Socioeconomic factors associated with infection by Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara canis in children.
The intense contact of children with domestic animals or environments contaminated with faeces of these animals, together with habits related to lack of hygiene, can facilitate infection by zoonoses. The study evaluated the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with toxoplasmosis and toxocariasis in schoolchildren in the city of Jataizinho, Paraná. Of the 412 children aged 4-15 years, 56.8% (234/412) presented antibodies reactive to Toxoplasma gondii, 42.5% (175/412) presented antibodies reactive to Toxocara canis, and 27.4% (113/412) were reactive for the two species. The analysis of risk factors showed that prevalence of toxoplasmosis and toxocariasis was associated with the level of education of the child's mother (less than eight years of schooling), age range (10-15 years) and the presence of cats in the residence. In addition, family income (up to a minimum wage), presence of a dog, the habit of playing in soil/sand and eosinophilia were associated with Toxocara canis infection. There was an association between the two zoonoses (p < .01), indicating the existence of coinfection. The results show high prevalence of these two important zoonoses, alerting to the need of implementing control measures in order to reduce the incidence and risks of sequelae in children.