Ascaris spp.

Ascaris spp.

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Ascaris spp.

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Ascariasis, roundworm infection

CHARACTERISTICS: Large intestinal roundworm SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Helminthic infection of small intestine; pulmonary manifestations may occur; serious complications, including bowel obstruction or obstruction of bile duct, pancreatic duct and appendix; may be fatal

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Worldwide; commonly occurring in tropical countries; greatest in children aged 3-8 years

HOST RANGE: Varies with species (A. lumbricoides - humans, occasionally swine; A. suum - swine)

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Unknown

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: By ingestion of infective eggs from soil contaminated with human faeces or from uncooked food contaminated with soil containing infective eggs; transmission of infection by dust is also possible; fresh faeces do not contain infective eggs

INCUBATION PERIOD: 4-8 week life cycle of the parasite

COMMUNICABILITY: Not transmitted directly from person to person

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Intestinal tract of humans, swine; soil

ZOONOSIS: Yes, can be indirectly transmitted from faeces of swine containing infective eggs

VECTORS: None SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Mebendazole and albendazole are efficacious

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Half-and-half mixture of xylol and 95% ethanol was found to be effective in killing eggs on moist surfaces; one-to-one mixture of phenol and xylol is also rapidly lethal; phenol alone also is effective but slower acting (20 min)

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Eggs are resistant to desiccation, low temperatures; destruction by UV is questionable

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Eggs can remain infective for years in favourable soil conditions

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Identification of eggs in faeces or passage of adult worms; pulmonary involvement confirmed by identifying larvae in sputum or gastric washing

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Administer appropriate drug therapy

IMMUNIZATION: None

PROPHYLAXIS: None

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: Infective stage has caused laboratory infection (8 cases reported); allergic reaction to various antigenic components of nematodes (aerosolized Ascaris antigens) may occur in sensitized individuals

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Infective eggs in faeces, soil; larvae in sputum or gastric washings

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Ingestion of infective eggs; skin or mucosal penetration of infective larvae; accidental injection

SPECIAL HAZARDS: Exposure to aerosolized antigens frequently results in hypersensitivity

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 facilities and operational practices for activities involving infective stages; hypersensitive individuals should conduct work in a biological safety cabinet to avoid exposure to aerosolized antigens

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves when contact with infective materials is unavoidable

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: Excellent hygienic habits should be encouraged; agricultural workers should wear personal protection (i.e. boots, gloves etc.) when working in soil contaminated with animal or human faeces

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply disinfectant, starting at the perimeter and working towards the centre; allow sufficient contact time before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate before disposal; steam sterilization, incineration, chemical disinfection

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: November 1999

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright © Health Canada, 2001

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