An Outbreak of Meningoencephalitis Caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis among Thai Workers in Changhua County, Taiwan, 2012 June

Lu-Hsuan Chen1、Min-Cheng Lin2、Chih-Ming Chen3、Dar-Der Ji4、Yen-Po Yeh5、Shu-Hui Chang2、Du-Ling Lin2、Shin-Yi Lin1、Chih-Tsung Tu2、Ching-Fen Ko2、Sung-Hsi Wei2

2012 Vol.28 NO.22

Correspondence Author: Sung-Hsi Wei

  • 1. Department of Public Health, China Medical University
  • 2. Third Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan
  • 3. Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung
  • 4. Division of Research and Diagnosis, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan
  • 5. Changhua County Public Health Bureau


Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a parasite infesting rodents, mollusks, and incidentally, human hosts. A. cantonensis is the major pathogen of eosinophilic meningoencephalitis in Asia and the islands around pacific ocean. People contract A. cantonensis associated meningoencephalitis through taking raw or inappropriately cooked snails and slugs infested by the pathogen, or vegetables and water contaminated by the pathogen. We were notified of eight eosinophilic meningoencephalitis patients who were Thai factory workers in Changhua in June. All of the case patients had taken inappropriately cooked Pomacea canaliculata which is obtained from the pond in the factory. A. cantonensis was confirmed as the causative pathogen through the immunodiagnosis tests on the serum and cerebrospinal fluid specimens collected from the case patients. The larvae of A. cantonensis were identified in the Pomacea canaliculata sampled from the pond. This outbreak highlights the potential threat by taking inappropriately cooked Pomacea canaliculata in Taiwan.