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Article

A Peculiar Distribution of the Emerging Nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the Canary Islands (Spain): Recent Introduction or Isolation Effect?

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Instituto Universitario de Enfermedades Tropicales y Salud Pública de Canarias, Universidad de La Laguna, Avda. Astrofísico F. Sánchez s/n, 38203 La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
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Department Obstetricia y Ginecología, Pediatría, Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública, Toxicología, Medicina Legal y Forense y Parasitología, Universidad de La Laguna, Avda. Astrofísico F. Sánchez s/n, 38203 La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
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Department of Biology, Health and Environment, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
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Faculty of Biology, IRBio (Research Institute of Biodiversity), University of Barcelona, Av Diagonal, 645, 08028 Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
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Nertalab S.L. José Rodríguez Mouré, 4, bajo, 38008 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
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Department Matemáticas, Estadística e IO, Faculty of Science, Universidad de La Laguna, 38206 La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
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Department Biología, Faculty of Science, Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad de Cusco, Cusco 08000, Peru
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Department Biología Evolutiva, Ecología y Ciencias Ambientales, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal, 645, 08028 Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Teresa Galán-Puchades and Márius Vicent Fuentes
Animals 2021, 11(5), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051267
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 20 April 2021 / Accepted: 24 April 2021 / Published: 28 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Helminths of Small Mammals)
Angiostrongylus cantonensis, commonly known as the rat lungworm, is considered the leading cause of eosinophilic meningitis in humans. It is an emerging zoonotic parasite, endemic to the temperate and tropical zones of the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, that has expanded to all continents with the exception of Antarctica. Considering the recent finding of this parasite in rats from the Canary Islands, the aim of this study was to determine its current distribution in these islands in order to highlight the risk sources for angiostrongyliasis in the archipelago. We also analyzed the environmental conditions that could determine distribution. A. cantonensis was detected in only one of the eight islands that constitute this archipelago, i.e., in the north part of the island, which presents better environmental conditions than the south for the parasite to establish itself. This limited distribution could indicate a recent introduction of the parasite in the Canaries or an isolation effect that has not allowed the expansion to the other islands. The presence of A. cantonensis implies risks for humans and other animals that justify the need of control measures to prevent the expansion to other similar areas of the archipelago.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis is an emerging zoonotic nematode recognized as the leading cause of eosinophilic meningitis in the word. After its discovery in China, it was recorded in 30 countries worldwide. Recently, it has expanded to new areas such as South America and it has been recently found in the Atlantic island of Tenerife (Canary Islands). In order to characterize the distribution of A. cantonensis in the Canary Islands, the lungs of 1462 rodents were sampled in eight islands of the archipelago over 13 years and were then analyzed for A. cantonensis. Remarkably, the parasite was detected only in Tenerife, in Rattus rattus (19.7%) and Rattus norvegicus (7.14%). They were concretely in the northern part of the island, which had a warmer and more humid climate than the south and main cities. The absence of this nematode in other islands with similar environmental conditions could be explained by an isolation effect or by a recent introduction of the parasite in the islands. Besides, the presence in Tenerife of the most invasive lineage of A. cantonensis reinforced the hypothesis of a recent introduction on this island. This study highlights the need to implement control measures to prevent the expansion to other areas in order to avoid the transmission to humans and other animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: Angiostrongylus cantonensis; Canary Islands; emerging disease; rat lungworm; Rattus; expanding parasite; eosinophilic meningitis Angiostrongylus cantonensis; Canary Islands; emerging disease; rat lungworm; Rattus; expanding parasite; eosinophilic meningitis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martín-Carrillo, N.; Feliu, C.; Abreu-Acosta, N.; Izquierdo-Rodriguez, E.; Dorta-Guerra, R.; Miquel, J.; Abreu-Yanes, E.; Martin-Alonso, A.; García-Livia, K.; Quispe-Ricalde, M.A.; Serra-Cobo, J.; Valladares, B.; Foronda, P. A Peculiar Distribution of the Emerging Nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the Canary Islands (Spain): Recent Introduction or Isolation Effect? Animals 2021, 11, 1267. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051267

AMA Style

Martín-Carrillo N, Feliu C, Abreu-Acosta N, Izquierdo-Rodriguez E, Dorta-Guerra R, Miquel J, Abreu-Yanes E, Martin-Alonso A, García-Livia K, Quispe-Ricalde MA, Serra-Cobo J, Valladares B, Foronda P. A Peculiar Distribution of the Emerging Nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the Canary Islands (Spain): Recent Introduction or Isolation Effect? Animals. 2021; 11(5):1267. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051267

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martín-Carrillo, Natalia, Carlos Feliu, Néstor Abreu-Acosta, Elena Izquierdo-Rodriguez, Roberto Dorta-Guerra, Jordi Miquel, Estefanía Abreu-Yanes, Aarón Martin-Alonso, Katherine García-Livia, María A. Quispe-Ricalde, Jordi Serra-Cobo, Basilio Valladares, and Pilar Foronda. 2021. "A Peculiar Distribution of the Emerging Nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the Canary Islands (Spain): Recent Introduction or Isolation Effect?" Animals 11, no. 5: 1267. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11051267

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