The raccoon roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis is widespread in raccoons in North America, however this parasite has also been introduced to Europe and Asia. Use this client education handout to increase awareness of this zoonotic pathogen in caretakers of young children, home owners living in areas where raccoons might be present, as well as workers exposed to raccoons or their feces during the course of their day. This handout provides simple tips that can be used to curb infection caused by the raccoon roundworm, emphasizing avoidance and prevention of exposure to infective eggs.
This zoonotic concern article reviews Baylisascaris procyonis or the raccoon roundworm. Baylisascaris procyonis exhibits a typical ascarid life cycle with adult female worms in the raccoon intestine depositing eggs that are shed in the raccoon feces. Humans can serve as paratenic or accidental hosts of B. procyonis, however more than 150 species of free-ranging and captive wildlife, zoo animals, and domestic animals have also been afflicted. When infective eggs are ingested by paratenic hosts, Baylisascaris larvae can migrate through the brain, eye, and other organs, causing serious health issues. Who is most at risk? What strategies can be implemented to prevent exposure to infective roundworm eggs?
Zoonoses are diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans, and some estimate that 75% of emerging human infectious diseases are zoonotic. Many of these zoonoses come from non-domestic animals. This RACE-approved webinar recording presented by Marcy Souza, DVM, MPH MPPA, DABVP (Avian), DACVPM provided an overview of common zoonoses associated with non-domestic or exotic pets, including but not limited to salmonellosis, influenza, chlamydiosis, monkeypox, rabies, and various parasitic diseases. Recent outbreaks of zoonoses in exotic pets and people are also highlighted. Dr. Souza also discusses the potential role of non-domestic species in the emergence and/or transmission of novel pathogens in the future.