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Volume 34, Number 1, March 2001

An outbreak of meningitis caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Kaohsiung

Tsung-Hung Tsai, Yung-Ching Liu, Shue-Ren Wann, Wei-Ru Lin, Susan Shin-Jung Lee2, Hsi-Hsun Lin, Yao-Shen Chen, Muh-Yong Yen, Chuan-Ming Yen
Department of Medicine, Veterans Hospital-Chiayi, Taiwan, ROC



Eight Thai laborers developed meningitis after eating raw snails (Ampullarium canaliculatus) during the period from September 27 to October 6, 1998. The diagnosis of Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection was established in all patients by serologic studies of serum and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). Clinical manifestations included meningitis, radiculitis and cranial nerve palsy. Symptoms included fever, headache, orbital pain, gastrointestinal upset, hyperesthesia, muscle weakness, skin rash and diplopia. Laboratory abnormalities included peripheral eosinophilia, CSF eosinophilia, transient elevation of liver enzymes and creatinine phosphokinase, elevation of IgE. No space occupying lesions were detected by magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. None of the patients developed severe sequelae during the 6-month follow-up except for occasional headache in one patient. This report also provides evidence that third stage larvae were present in the intermediate host, A. canaliculatus, which the laborers had eaten.



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2001;34:50-56.