Ancylostomiasis is the infection caused by hookworm Ancylostoma duodenale. Larvae which occur in contaminated soil, invade the host(man) and burrow through skin of feet into blood causing ancylostomiasis.
In ancylostomiasis, the penetrating larvae cause characteristic tiny and irritating sores, called dew sores or ground itching, and inflammation of skin in lungs, the larvae cause petechial haemmorhages and bronchial pneumonitis. The greatest damage occurs in the small intestine by the adult worms in ancylostomiasis. Here, the punctured wounds continue to bleed for some time so that more blood is lost than worms can consume. Resulting in severe anaemia, decrease in general immunity and bloody stools. Deleterious toxins which are secreted by glands in the head region of worms cause stomach pain, food fermentation, diarrhoea, constipation, dyspnea, palpitation of heart, eosinophilia and loss of health. Mental and physical growth is retarded in children and growing youth in ancylostomiasis . Unchecked ancylostomiasis infection may lead to fatty degeneration of heart, liver and kidneys, ending in death.
The treatment of ancylostomiasis involves administration of drugs , such as carbon tetrachloride, thymol, oil of chenopodium, hexylresorcinol, etc. by a gastroenterologist. Most commonly recommended drug is tetrachloroethylene because of its high efficiency and low toxicity. Treatment is followed by a purge to flush out the dead worms. Iron is usually prescribed by a gastroenterologist to overcome the haemoglobin deficiency due to anaemia.
The ancylostomiasis is responsible for considerable economic loss as well as poor health. The ancylostomiasis can be prevented by wearing shoes and sanitary disposal of human faeces in affected areas so that soil may not be polluted.