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Central nervous system manifestations of Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection
- Martins, Yuri C., Tanowitz, Herbert B., Kazacos, Kevin R.
- Acta tropica 2015 v.141 pp. 46-53
- Angiostrongylus, Parastrongylus cantonensis, central nervous system, encephalitis, epidemiology, humans, islands, meningitis, parasites, pathogenesis, prognosis, pulmonary artery, rats, Caribbean, South Asia
- Over 20 species of Angiostrongylus have been described from around the world, but only Angiostrongylus cantonensis has been confirmed to cause central nervous system disease in humans. A neurotropic parasite that matures in the pulmonary arteries of rats, A. cantonensis is the most common cause of eosinophilic meningitis in southern Asia and the Pacific and Caribbean islands. The parasite can also cause encephalitis/encephalomyelitis and rarely ocular angiostrongyliasis. The present paper reviews the life cycle, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and prognosis of A. cantonesis infection. Emphasis is given on the spectrum of central nervous system manifestations and disease pathogenesis.