First report of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda: Metastrongylidae) in Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from Southeast and South Brazil


Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz




The rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a worldwide-distributed zoonotic nematode that can cause human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis. Here, for the first time, we report the isolation of A. cantonensis from Achatina fulica from two Brazilian states: Rio de Janeiro (specifically the municipalities of Barra do Piraí, situated at the Paraiba River Valley region and São Gonçalo, situated at the edge of Guanabara Bay) and Santa Catarina (in municipality of Joinville). The lungworms were identified by comparing morphological and morphometrical data obtained from adult worms to values obtained from experimental infections of A. cantonensis from Pernambuco, Brazil, and Akita, Japan. Only a few minor morphological differences that were determined to represent intra-specific variation were observed. This report of A. cantonensis in South and Southeast Brazil, together with the recent report of the zoonosis and parasite-infected molluscs in Northeast Brazil, provide evidence of the wide distribution of A. cantonensis in the country. The need for efforts to better understand the role of A. fulica in the transmission of meningoencephalitis in Brazil and the surveillance of molluscs and rodents, particularly in ports, is emphasized.

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