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Humans in Areas Populated by Raccoons Need to be Aware of Baylisascaris procyonis


EMSL Analytical provides testing services to identify the presence of Baylisascaris procyonis from environmental samples. 
Cinnaminson, NJ, October 25th, 2011
Baylisascaris is a genus of roundworms that are known to infect more than 50 animal species.  The parasite is spread when eggs are passed in the host’s feces.  They are of special concern since the eggs may remain viable in the environment for years.
People who live in areas infested by raccoons need to be particularly aware of Baylisascaris procyonis, an intestinal nematode commonly found in raccoons.  According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, “B. procyonis has been reported from numerous states, but probably occurs wherever the raccoon inhabits. Prevalence of infections ranges from 3.4% to nearly 100% of all raccoons sampled. In Michigan, the parasite has commonly been seen in raccoons statewide. There are several intermediate hosts that have been diagnosed as having a Baylisascaris infection: mice, squirrels, rabbits, birds, woodchucks, and chipmunks.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Laboratory Identification of Parasites of Public Health Concern (DPDx) states that infected raccoons appear to be common in the Middle Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeast regions of the United States and are well documented in California and Georgia.
“People need to be aware of this parasite if they live or are working in areas that have had raccoon activity so they can take the necessary precautions to prevent becoming infected with the parasite,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical.  “Infected raccoons can spread millions of eggs each day that can remain viable for years.  If these eggs are accidently ingested by a human they can result in the human becoming an intermediate host.  When this happens the larvae can enter the pulmonary veins and enter the heart, infect the liver and lungs, and spread throughout the human body, including in a person’s head.  Environmental samples can be tested to determine the presence of these parasites to help prevent human exposures,” he continued.
To learn more about Baylisascaris procyonis or other environmental testing services, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


 Baylisascaris procyonis

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