Rat lungworm is “widespread” among rodents in New Orleans, with an overall prevalence comparable to areas where the parasite is considered endemic, according to study findings published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“Rat lungworm was initially documented in North America about 30 years ago on the New Orleans waterfront,” Michael J. Blum, PhD, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at both the University of Tennessee and Tulane University in New Orleans, told Infectious Disease News. “We completed a citywide survey, which demonstrated that it is now widespread and that a more diverse range of host species harbors infections. This indicates that there is greater risk of transmission to humans across the city, though evidence of variation by host and geography illustrate the importance of understanding the socio-ecological conditions that foster rat lungworm infection.”
This activity is supported by an educational grant from Genentech, Inc.
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