Toxocara canis: egg presence in Melbourne parks and disease incidence in Victoria


  • Presented in part at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists’ annual scientific meeting, November 2000, Sydney, Australia.

Dr Susan M Carden, 8a Bent St, Bentleigh, Vic. 3204, Australia. Email:


Purpose:Toxocara canis can cause blinding eye disease. This study assessed the presence of T. canis eggs in soil from parks in Melbourne and also the incidence of presumed ocular toxocariasis in Victoria.

Methods: One hundred and eighty soil samples were collected from nine suburban locations in Melbourne, Australia. These were analyzed for the presence of T. canis eggs. A search of laboratory records of T. canis serology requests from Victorian patients over an 8-year period was performed.

Results: Only one soil sample was positive for T. canis eggs. Positive T. canis serology was reported in 13 samples from patients. These patients all had ocular features suggestive of T. canis infection.

Conclusion:Toxocara canis eggs are rare in public parks in Melbourne and symptomatic ocular toxocariasis is uncommon in the Victorian population. The acquisition of the disease is unlikely to be from public parks.