Medical Definition of Angiostrongyliasis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

Angiostrongyliasis: Infection with the parasitic nematode (roundworm) Angiostrongylus. The two species that infect humans are A. cantonensis and A. costaricensis.

A. cantonensis, the rat lungworm, is the most common cause of human eosinophilic meningitis (meningitis with eosinophils in the cerebrospinal fluid). The meningitis is due to the presence of the rat lungworm larvae in the brain and the patient's local reactions to them.

A. costaricensis causes abdominal, or intestinal, angiostrongyliasis which mimics appendicitis, with eosinophilia (an increase of eosinophils in blood). There is no effective treatment for A. cantonensis or A. costaricensis.

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Reviewed on 9/7/2018