Neglected Parasitic Infections in the United States

Parasitic infections are typically associated with poor and often marginalized communities in low-income countries. However, these infections are also present in the United States.

The major Neglected Parasitic Infections identified at this time for further action include Chagas disease, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, and trichomoniasis.

Neglected Parasitic Infections are a group of five parasitic diseases that have been targeted by CDC as priorities for public health action, based on the:

  • Number of people infected
  • Severity of the illnesses
  • Ability to prevent and treat them

Playing in soil contaminated with feces of infected dogs and cats can expose children to the roundworm Toxocara.

Neglected Parasitic Infections include:

These infections are considered neglected because relatively little attention has been devoted to their surveillance, prevention, and/or treatment.

Anyone, regardless of race or economic status, can become infected although minorities, immigrants, and people living in poor or disadvantaged communities appear to be most at risk.

CDC is working to protect people from these health threats by:

  • Increasing awareness among physicians and the public
  • Synthesizing the existing data to help better understand these infections
  • Improving diagnostic testing
  • Advising on treatment, including distributing otherwise unavailable drugs for certain infections (Chagas disease)

Page last reviewed: November 11, 2015