Hookworm infection, also known as hookworm disease, is an infection by a parasitic bloodsucking roundworm. Hookworm infections include ancylostomiasis and necatoriasis. These worms live in the small intestine of their host, which may be a bird or a mammal such as a dog, cat, or human. Hookworm infection in pregnancy can cause retarded growth of the fetus, premature birth and a low birth weight. Two species of hookworms commonly infect humans: Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. Hookworm infection is a soil-transmitted helminthiasis and therefore classified as a neglected tropical disease. Symptoms: Intestinal inflammation,coughing,chest pain,wheezing,fever.Epigastric pains,indigestion,nausea,vomiting,constipation and diarrhea.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis depends on finding characteristic worm eggs on microscopic examination of the stools . The eggs are oval or elliptical, measuring 60 mm by 40 mm, colourless, not bile stained and with a thin transparent hyaline shell membrane. When released by the worm in the intestine, the egg contains an unsegmented ovum. During its passage down the intestine, the ovum develops and thus the eggs passed in feces have a segmented ovum, usually with 4 to 8 blastomeres. PCR assays could serve as a molecular approach for accurate diagnosis of hookworm in the feces.
Treament: The most common treatment for hookworm are benzimidazoles, specifically albendazole and mebendazole. In some cases levamisole and pyrantelpamoate may be used. 72% for albendazole, 15% for mebendazole, and 31% for pyrantel pamoate.if the person suffers from anaemia that ferrous sulfate be administered three times a day at the same time anthelmintic treatment given; this should be continued until hemoglobin values return to normal which could take up to 3 months. Hookworm infection can be treated with local cryotherapy. Pathophysiology: A. duodenale worms are grayish white or pinkish with the head slightly bent in relation to the rest of the body. This bend forms a definitive hook shape at the anterior end for which hookworms are named. They possess well-developed mouths with two pairs of teeth. While males measure approximately one centimeter by 0.5 millimeter, the females are often longer and stouter. Additionally, males can be distinguished from females based on the presence of a prominent posterior copulatory bursa.
Epidemology: It is estimated that between 576-740 million individuals are infected with hookworm.out of these 80 million are severely affected. The major etiology of hookworm infection is N. americanus which is found the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. A majority of these infected individuals live in poverty-stricken areas with poor sanitation. While hookworm infection may not directly lead to mortality, its effects on morbidity demand immediate attention.