What is the role of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (A cantonensis) in the development of eosinophilic meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Angiostrongylus cantonensis, the rat lungworm, can cause eosinophilic meningitis (pleocytosis with more than 10% eosinophils) in humans. The adult parasite resides in the lungs of rats. Its eggs hatch, and the larval stages are expelled in the feces. The larvae develop in the intermediate host, usually land snails, freshwater prawns, and crabs. Humans acquire the infection by ingesting raw mollusks.


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