Date: 05 Jul 2011

Human Angiostrongylus cantonensis : an update

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Angiostrongylus cantonensis was first discovered in 1935 and has become an important emerging pathogen causing human angiostrongyliasis. Major outbreaks of human angiostrongyliasis have been reported in endemic regions. Thousands of cases of human angiostrongyliasis have been documented worldwide. A. cantonensis has spread from its traditional endemic regions of the Pacific islands and Southeast Asia to the American continent including the USA, Caribbean islands and Brazil. Humans acquire A. cantonensis by consumption of raw or undercooked intermediate snail hosts or paratenic hosts. The main clinical manifestations of human angiostrongyliasis are eosinophilic meningitis and ocular angiostrongyliasis. The treatment of this disease includes supportive treatment, corticosteroid therapy, and combined therapy with corticosteroids and anthelminthics. The most effective method for prevention is to persuade people not to eat raw or undercooked intermediate and paratenic hosts.