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New on Featured Creatures! Rat lungworm, by Capinera and Walden.

rat_lungworm02-257x300We are pleased to announce a new article on Featured Creatures!

Take a sneak peek with this excerpt from the article: Like many pest and disease problems, rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) has been slowly spreading around the world. First described by Chen (1935) from rats in China, the medical significance of this parasite was overlooked until 1944 when it was found infecting humans in Taiwan. Even then, because the report was published in Japanese, its importance remained largely unknown. In 1955, Mackerras and Sandars found this nematode among rats in Brisbane, Australia, and described its life cycle, including the importance of its molluscan intermediate hosts.

Potential routes of infection of the human central nervous system (CNS) by the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis. Note that the normal life cycle involves (1) consumption of molluscs by rats, then (2) excretion of nematodes in rat feces, which are then (3) consumed by molluscs. Human infection can occur when uncooked infected molluscs are eaten (4a) or, more rarely, when uncooked contaminated paratenic (transport) hosts (4C) or vegetable matter (4b) is consumed. Adapted from Wang et al. (2008).


Authors: John Capinera Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, and Heather S. Walden, Infectious Diseases and Pathology, University of Florida