First Record of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Cuba

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  • Institute for Tropical Medicine “Pedro Kourí,”, School of Medicine, University of Costa Rica and San Juan de Dios Hospital, William Soler Hospital, Havana, Cuba

The occurrence of human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis in several localities of Havana, Cuba, prompted a search for the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, in the same localities. Twenty rats (Rattus norvegicus) and about 370 terrestrial mollusks (70 slugs, Veronicella cubensis, and about 300 snails, mostly Bradybaena similaris) were collected in six communities of the Province of Havana, and in the gardens of the Pedro Kourí Institute for Tropical Medicine in Havana City. Adult lungworms were found in 12 of the rats and larvae were recovered from a large number in pooled lots of the mollusks. Observations on the morphology and life history of the parasites confirmed the presence of A. cantonensis in the American region.

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