The Epidemiologic Investigation on a Case of Angiostrongylus Cantonensis Infection in Kaohsiung City, 2012

Yu-Min Chen, Shu-Hua Huang, Min-Nan Hung,Chiou-Yueh You, Chao-Ching Chang

2013 Vol.29 NO.5

Correspondence Author: Yu-Min Chen

  • Fifth Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan


The definitive hosts of Angiostrongylus cantonensis are mainly rodents. The nematode is commonly parasitic in the lungs of mice. Mollusks are the primary intermediate hosts, such as the giant African snails, apple snails, slugs, etc. Human beings are not proper hosts for A. cantonensis, but may become infected through ingestion of snails with A. cantonensis or food contaminated by the discharge of mucus which contains the third stage larvae of A. cantonensis. That is one common pathogen of eosinophilic meningitis. This case was involving a 74-year-old woman with no chronic disease who grew vegetables for living. She had developed symptoms of body aches, headache, abnormal behavior, confusion and trance in turn since June 23, 2012. Medical examination found that the proportions of the eosinophilic leukocytes were as high as 10.5% and 70% in her blood and cerebrospinal fluid, respectively. She was notified as a suspected case of Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection on July 23, and was confirmed by the Kaohsiung Medical University on July 27. After receiving supportive treatment, she had recovered and was discharged on July 28. Epidemiologic investigation suggested that the case might have exposed to snail mucus with the third stage larvae of A. cantonensis when farmed in the vegetable garden then got infection.