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An epidemiological study of A. cantonensis in Jamaica subsequent to an outbreak of human cases of eosinophilic meningitis in 2000

  • C. A. WAUGH (a1), J. F. LINDO (a2), J. LORENZO-MORALES (a3) and R. D. ROBINSON (a1)


The infection status of angiostrongylosis in Jamaica was assessed in wild rats and molluscs in the 5 years following the major outbreak of eosinophilic meningitis (EM) in 2000. Parasitological analyses of 297 Rattus rattus and 140 Rattus norvegicus, and 777 terrestrial molluscs from all 14 Parishes on the island revealed Angiostrongylus cantonensis in 32·0% of the rats and in 12·5% of the molluscs. Multivariate analyses confirmed that A. cantonensis occurred significantly more frequently in R. rattus (Odds Ratio [OR] = 1·76), while mean infection intensity in R. rattus was also significantly higher (16·8) than R. norvegicus (11·3) (Mann–Whitney U-test: P = 0·01). Third-stage larvae of A. cantonensis were detected in 29% of 86 Pleurodonte spp.; in 20% of five Poteria spp.; in 18·7% of 369 Thelidomus asper; in 11% of 18 Sagda spp.; and in 6% of 24 veronicellid slugs. Most rodent infections occurred in Northeastern Jamaica (OR = 11·66), a region where infected molluscs were also abundant. Given the prevalence of A. cantonensis infection in rats has significantly increased since the 2000 outbreak, and that a survey of human infections revealed at least ten autochthonous cases in the last 15 years, angiostrongylosis persists as an important zoonosis in Jamaica.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica. E-mail:


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An epidemiological study of A. cantonensis in Jamaica subsequent to an outbreak of human cases of eosinophilic meningitis in 2000

  • C. A. WAUGH (a1), J. F. LINDO (a2), J. LORENZO-MORALES (a3) and R. D. ROBINSON (a1)


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