DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Ascariasis (as-kuh-RIE-uh-sis) is a type of roundworm infection. These worms are parasites that use your body as a host to mature from larvae or eggs to adult worms and reproduce. Adult worms can be more than a foot (30 centimeters) long.
Ascariasis is one of the most common human worm infections worldwide, although it's uncommon in the United States. Because most people have such mild cases of ascariasis, they have no symptoms. But when your body is infested with hundreds of worms, serious symptoms and complications can occur.
Ascariasis occurs most often in young children and is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions of the world — especially in areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor. In the United States, ascariasis is most likely to occur in rural areas of the Southeast.
- Leder K, et al. Ascariasis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Weller PF, et al. Pulmonary manifestations of ascariasis. http://uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- BBB -— Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodborneIllness/FoodborneIllnessFoodbornePathogensNaturalToxins/BadBugBook/ucm070828.htm. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Ascaris infection (Ascariasis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/ascaris/factsht_ascaris.htm. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Ascariasis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00010-0--sc0290&isbn=978-0-323-05611-3&sid=1259356096&uniqId=314473516-3#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05611-3..00010-0--sc0290. Accessed Jan. 26, 2012.
- Dold C, et al. Ascaris and ascariasis. Microbes and Infection. 2011;13:632.