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First Evidence of Angiostrongyliasis Caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles

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  • 1 Laboratoire de Biologie Médicale, Centre Hospitalier de Basse-Terre, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, France.
  • | 2 Département de Pédiatrie, Centre Hospitalier de Basse-Terre, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, France.
  • | 3 Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • | 4 Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France.
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Infection by the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis represents the most common cause of infectious eosinophilic meningitis in humans, causing central nervous system (CNS) angiostrongyliasis. Most of CNS angiostrongyliasis cases were described in Asia, Pacific Basin, Australia, and some limited parts of Africa and America. CNS angiostrongyliasis has been reported in the Caribbean but never in the Lesser Antilles. The primary objectives of this study were to depict the first case of CNS angiostrongyliasis in the Lesser Antilles and investigate the environmental presence of A. cantonensis in Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles. In December 2013, a suspected case of CNS angiostrongyliasis in an 8-month-old infant in Guadeloupe was investigated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing on cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The environmental investigation was performed by collecting Achatina fulica molluscs from different parts of Guadeloupe and testing the occurrence of A. cantonensis by real-time PCR. CSF from the suspected case of angiostrongyliasis was positive for A. cantonensis by real-time PCR. Among 34 collected snails for environmental investigation, 32.4% were positive for A. cantonensis. In conclusion, we report the first laboratory-confirmed case of CNS-angiostrongyliasis in the Lesser Antilles. We identified the presence and high prevalence of A. cantonensis in A. fulica in Guadeloupe. These results highlight the need to increase awareness of this disease and implement public health programs in the region to prevent human cases of angiostrongyliasis and improve management of eosinophilic meningitis patients.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Céline Dard, Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Grenoble Alpes, Avenue Maquis du Grésivaudan, Grenoble, France. E-mail: cdard@chu-grenoble.fr
† These authors contributed equally to this work.

Authors' addresses: Céline Dard, Laboratoire de Biologie Médicale, Centre Hospitalier de Basse-Terre, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, France, and Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France, E-mail: cdard@chu-grenoble.fr. Jean-Eudes Piloquet and Jean-Christophe Hebert, Département de Pédiatrie, Centre Hospitalier de Basse-Terre, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, France, E-mails: rubjep@hotmail.com and jc.hebert@ch-labasseterre.fr. Yvonne Qvarnstrom and LeAnne M. Fox, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: bvp2@cdc.gov and llf4@cdc.gov. Helmi M'kada, Didier Mattera, and Dorothée Harrois, Laboratoire de Biologie Médicale, Centre Hospitalier de Basse-Terre, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, France, E-mails: helmi.mkada@ch-labasseterre.fr, didier.mattera@ch-labasseterre.fr, and dorothee.harrois@ch-labasseterre.fr.

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