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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

versão impressa ISSN 0074-0276versão On-line ISSN 1678-8060


VALENTE, Romina; ROBLES, Maria del Rosario; NAVONE, Graciela T  e  DIAZ, Julia I. Angiostrongylus spp. in the Americas: geographical and chronological distribution of definitive hosts versus disease reports. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2018, vol.113, n.3, pp.143-152. ISSN 0074-0276.


Angiostrongyliasis is an infection caused by nematode worms of the genus Angiostrongylus. The adult worms inhabit the pulmonary arteries, heart, bronchioles of the lung, or mesenteric arteries of the caecum of definitive host. Of a total of 23 species of Angiostrongylus cited worldwide, only nine were registered in the American Continent. Two species, A. cantonensis and A. costaricensis, are considered zoonoses when the larvae accidentally parasitise man.


In the present study, geographical and chronological distribution of definitive hosts of Angiostrongylus in the Americas is analysed in order to observe their relationship with disease reports. Moreover, the role of different definitive hosts as sentinels and dispersers of infective stages is discussed.


The study area includes the Americas. First records of Angiostrongylus spp. in definitive or accidental hosts were compiled from the literature. Data were included in tables and figures and were matched to geographic information systems (GIS).


Most geographical records of Angiostrongylus spp. both for definitive and accidental hosts belong to tropical areas, mainly equatorial zone. In relation to those species of human health importance, as A. cantonensis and A. costaricensis, most disease cases indicate a coincidence between the finding of definitive host and disease record. However, in some geographic site there are gaps between report of definitive host and disease record. In many areas, human populations have invaded natural environments and their socioeconomic conditions do not allow adequate medical care.


Consequently, many cases for angiostrongyliasis could have gone unreported or unrecognised throughout history and in the nowadays. Moreover, the population expansion and the climatic changes invite to make broader and more complete range of observation on the species that involve possible epidemiological risks. This paper integrates and shows the current distribution of Angiostrongylus species in America, being this information very relevant for establishing prevention, monitoring and contingency strategies in the region.

Palavras-chave : American distribution; angiostrongyliasis; Angiostrongylus; disease reports.

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