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Ancylostomiasis

What is Ancylostomiasis?

Ancylostomiasis-- also known as hookworm infection, is a rare parasitic disease caused by the Ancylostoma hookworms.  Infection occurs when a worm larvae enters the body, usually through contact of broken skin on the feet with contaminated soil, and traveling through the bloodstream to the lung and intestine, where they begin to multiply.  Hookworms can cause symptoms such as asymptomatic pneumonitis, an inflammation in the lungs, and eosinophilia, an increase of a type of white blood cell in the blood. Symptoms can intensify when the parasite is present in large numbers  including diarrhea, abdominal pain, melena-- bloody feces usually caused by intestinal bleeding, iron deficient anemia, and protein malnutrition.

 

Ancylostomiasis-- also known as hookworm infection, is a rare parasitic disease caused by the Ancylostoma hookworms.  Infection occurs when a worm larvae enters the body, usually through contact of broken skin on the feet with contaminated soil, and traveling through the bloodstream to the lung and intestine, where they begin to multiply.  Hookworms can cause symptoms such as asymptomatic pneumonitis, an inflammation in the lungs, and eosinophilia, an increase of a type of white blood cell in the blood. Symptoms can intensify when the parasite is present in large numbers  including diarrhea, abdominal pain, melena-- bloody feces usually caused by intestinal bleeding, iron deficient anemia, and protein malnutrition.

Acknowledgement of Ancylostomiasis has not been added yet.

The overall prevalence of Ancylostomiasis is unknown. The worms, and thus the infection, can be found in most parts of the world, however the infection rates increase if the population walks barefoot in areas where the soil is infested with hookworms.

There was a regional study in Anhui Province, China, where the males were found to have a higher rate of infection, and middle aged individuals were more likely to be infected than children or the elderly.

Synonyms for Ancylostomiasis has not been added yet.

The root cause of the disease is an infection of Ancylostoma hookworms. Symptoms occur as a result of the worms living inside the affected individual and sucking blood from the intestinal wall.

Hookworms lay their eggs in soil, and the eggs then hatch into larvae.  Broken skin provides an entry point for the larvae to move into the bloodstream and be transported to other organs.  One of the first symptoms may be an itch at the point of entry, due to an allergic reaction to the worms. If the lungs are infected, the parasites can be coughed up and swallowed, leading to infection of the small intestine, where they will begin to suck blood, and cause the severe manifestations of the disease.

Symptoms of Ancylostomiasis can include:  

  • Skin itch at the point of entry

  • Inflammation of the lungs, leading to eosinophilia (Note: Hookworms do not cause pneumonia like some other parasites)

  • Diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody feces, anemia, and protein malnutrition due to from infection of the intestine and blood loss.

Ancylostomiasis is usually diagnosed by microscopic examination of parasites found in the stools and by inspecting the skin, eyes, and viscera for signs of infection.  Hookworm eggs and larvae can be identified microscopically. A stool concentration procedure can be performed to enhance detection.

Diagnostic tests of Ancylostomiasis has not been added yet

Ancylostomiasis can be effectively treated by various oral drugs, including Mebendazole, Albendazole and Pyrantel Pamoate.  It may be necessary to treat symptoms of the worm infection such as iron deficiency anemia through dietary means or iron supplements. In severe cases of anemia, a blood transfusion may be required.

Ancylostomiasis is rare in developed countries-- usually contracted through mining or similar operations.  However in less developed regions of the world and in the tropics, the disease is debilitating and can cause up to 60,000 deaths per year. With proper treatment, the outlook is positive. However, the lack of treatment can be dangerous.

As this is a disease, which can be treated readily, seeking prompt treatment is recommended. It is important to take care to prevent infection/reinfection by wearing shoes and avoiding contact with contaminated soil.

Disease InfoSearch. Ancylostomiasis. Disease InfoSearch website. http://diseaseinfosearch.org/Ancylostomiasis/426 

MalaCards. Ancylostomiasis malady. MalaCards website. http://www.malacards.org/card/ancylostomiasis?search=ANCYLOSTOMIASIS . October 27, 2015.

Montresor A. Ankylostomiasis. Orphanet website. http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/Disease_Search.php?lng=EN&data_id=8538&Disease_Disease_Search_diseaseGroup=Ancylostomiasis&Disease_Disease_Search_diseaseType=Pat&Disease(s)/group%20of%20diseases=Ankylostomiasis--Ancylostomiasis-&title=Ankylostomiasis--Ancylostomiasis-&search=Disease_Search_Simple . April 2015.

Right Diagnosis. Ancylostomiasis. Healthgrades website. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/medical/ancylostomiasis.htm 

Wikipedia. Ancylostomiasis. Wikipedia website. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancylostomiasis. December 3, 2015.

Yong W, Guangjin S, Weitu W, Shuhua X, Hotez PJ, Qiyang L, Haichou X, Xiaomei Y, Xiaoming L, Bin Z, Hawdon JM, Li C, Hong J, Chunmei H, Zheng F. Epidemiology of human ancylostomiasis among rural villagers in Nanlin County (Zhongzhou village), Anhui Province, China: age-associated prevalence, intensity and hookworm species identification. PubMed website. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10928362 . December 30, 1999.

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