Volume 102, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



is a zoonotic, parasitic nematode causing angiostrongyliasis or rat lungworm disease. Clinical diagnosis in humans is currently confirmed by detection of parasite DNA in cerebrospinal fluid. This study estimated human exposure to in volunteer participants solicitated via public venues on east Hawai’i Island using blood-based tests. Antibodies were screened in sera by crude antigen ELISA, followed by a 31-kDa dot-blot test developed and validated in Thailand. Human participants ( = 435) donated blood samples and completed a questionnaire to self-report relevant symptomology or clinical diagnosis. Among symptoms reported by participants diagnosed by licensed clinicians, headaches, high eosinophil counts, stiff neck, fatigue, and joint pain were most severe during the initial 3 months of infection. ELISA results revealed 22% of the serum samples as positive, 46% as equivocal, and 32% as negative. A subset of 186 samples was tested by dot blot, with 30% testing positive and 70% testing negative. A significantly higher mean ELISA value was found among recently (2014–2015) clinically diagnosed participants as than among those with a diagnosis before 2010 ( = 0.027). All dot-blot positives were also ELISA positive and were significantly associated with higher ELISA values compared with dot-blot negatives ( = 0.0001). These results suggest that an ELISA using crude antigen isolated from adult from Hawai’i may be an effective initial screening method for estimating exposure to in Hawai’i and likewise suggest that dot-blot tests using the 31-kDa antigen exhibit efficacy as a diagnostic for exposure.


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Supplemental file

  • Received : 21 Mar 2018
  • Accepted : 14 Oct 2019
  • Published online : 25 Nov 2019

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