Volume 38, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Twenty of 94 (21.4%) trapped in New Orleans, Louisiana, between April 1986 and February 1987 were infected with (3–62 worms per rat). This is the first report of the parasite from North America. A carnivorous snail, , was found experimentally to be able to serve as both an intermediate and a paratenic host. Other locally occurring gastropods that were successfully infected experimentally included , and . Laboratory reared, 4- to 5-week-old and were able to support the development of small numbers of larvae to the third stage. First stage larvae of in the feces of experimentally infected rats were found not to migrate out of the fecal pellet; this behavior favors the infection of feces-consuming gastropods. Twenty heavily infected were observed over a period of 2 months, and shedding of third stage larvae of was never seen. While factors support the spread of in rats in the southern United States, the probability of human infection is uncertain since the parasite is transmitted primarily by ingestion of raw intermediate and paratenic hosts.


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