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Zoonotic hookworms are hookworms that live in animals but can be transmitted to humans. Dogs and cats can become infected with several hookworm species, including Ancylostoma brazilense, A. caninum, A. ceylanicum, and Uncinaria stenocephala. People are infected when animal hookworm larvae penetrate the skin, causing a local reaction that is red and itchy. Raised, red tracks appear in the skin where the larvae have been and these tracks may move in the skin day to day, following the larvae's movements. The symptoms of itching and pain can last several weeks before the larvae die and the reaction to the larvae resolves. In rare cases, certain types of animal hookworm may infect the intestine and cause abdominal pain, discomfort, and diarrhea.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis can be made based on finding red, raised tracks in the skin that are very itchy. This is usually found on the feet or lower part of the legs on persons who have recently traveled to tropical areas and spent time at the beach. There is no blood test for zoonotic hookworm infection. the diagnosis can be made based on finding red, raised tracks in the skin that are very itchy. This is usually found on the feet or lower part of the legs on persons who have recently traveled to tropical areas and spent time at the beach. There is no blood test for zoonotic hookworm infection.
Treament: The zoonotic hookworm larvae that cause cutaneous larva migrans (CLM) usually do not survive more than 5 ? 6 weeks in the human host. In most patients with CLM, the signs and symptoms resolve without medical treatment. However, treatment may help control symptoms and help prevent secondary bacterial infections. Antiparasitic treatments may be prescribed by your health care provider.
Epidemology: In less developed areas of the world, dogs and cats are often free-ranging and have high rates of infection with hookworm which leads to widespread contamination of sand and soil. In a survey of a rural population in Italy, the prevalence of CLM during the rainy season was 14.9% among children less than 5 years old and 0.7% among adults aged 20 years and older.