Lungworms in the genus Angiostrongylus cause disease in animals and humans. The spread of Angiostrongylus vasorum within Europe and the recent establishment of Angiostrongylus cantonensis increase the relevance of these species to veterinary and medical practitioners, and to researchers in parasitology, epidemiology, veterinary science and ecology. This review introduces the key members of the genus present in Europe and their impacts on health, and updates the current epidemiological situation. Expansion of A. vasorum from localized pockets to wide distribution across the continent has been confirmed by a rising prevalence in foxes and increasing reports of infection and disease in dogs, while the list of carnivore and mustelid definitive hosts continues to grow. The tropically distributed rat lungworm A. cantonensis, meanwhile, has been recorded on islands south of Europe, previously the Canary Islands, and now also the Balearic Islands, although so far with limited evidence of zoonotic disease. Other members of the genus, namely, A. chabaudi, A. daskalovi and A. dujardini, are native to Europe and mainly infect wildlife, with unknown consequences for populations, although spill-over can occur into domestic animals and those in zoological collections. The epidemiology of angiostrongylosis is complex, and further research is needed on parasite maintenance in sylvatic hosts, and on the roles of ecology, behaviour and genetics in disease emergence. Improved surveillance in animals and humans is also required to support risk assessments and management.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
ing. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Funding: P.F. acknowledges funding from RICET (RD16/0027/0001). This research received no other Funding: P.F. acknowledges funding from RICET (RD16/0027/0001). This research received no funding. other funding. Acknowledgments: This manuscript arose from the 2021 Event of the European Society of Dirofi-Acknowledgments: This manuscript arose from the 2021 Event of the European Society of Dirofilar-iosis and Angiostrongylosis (ESDA), in association with the Italian Society of Parasitology (SOIPA), and we thank the organizers for the opportunity to present at this meeting. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Molecular Biology
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases