Reference work entry
Species of Nematodes.
A. cantonensis is an accidental human parasite, normally found in rats (Fig. 1). The worm is acquired by eating undercooked snails or freshwater crustacea, the intermediate hosts, or fresh vegetables contaminated with larvae in the slime of snails, slugs, or land planaria. The larvae migrate to the meninges and may be found in the spinal fluid. They wander through the brain and occasionally the eye, where they give rise to an acute inflammatory reaction rich in eosinophils. The meninges may show the main lesions, or the cerebral cortex may be involved with worm tracks, hemorrhages, and large eosinophilic abscesses containing Charcot-Leyden crystals around dead worms. When the worms are near adulthood, they migrate to the branches of the pulmonary artery. In rats, the natural host, eggs and larvae are produced with little inflammation, but in humans the cycle ends as the worms die in the...
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