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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 3085639, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3085639
Research Article

Vectors and Spatial Patterns of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Selected Rice-Farming Villages of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

1Animal Biology Division, Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños, 4031 Laguna, Philippines
2DNA Barcoding Laboratory, Institute of Biology, College of Science, University of the Philippines Diliman, 1001 Quezon City, Philippines

Received 15 February 2016; Revised 10 April 2016; Accepted 13 April 2016

Academic Editor: Dave Chadee

Copyright © 2016 Ma. Angelica A. Tujan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In the Philippines, rats and snails abound in agricultural areas as pests and source of food for some of the local people which poses risks of parasite transmission to humans such as Angiostrongylus cantonensis. This study was conducted to determine the extent of A. cantonensis infection among rats and snails collected from rice-farming villages of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. A total of 209 rats, 781 freshwater snails, and 120 terrestrial snails were collected for the study. Heart and lungs of rats and snail tissues were examined and subjected to artificial digestion for parasite collection. Adult worms from rats were identified using SSU rDNA gene. Seven nematode sequences obtained matched A. cantonensis. Results revealed that 31% of the rats examined were positive with A. cantonensis. Rattus norvegicus and R. tanezumi showed prevalence of 46% and 29%, respectively. Furthermore, only Pomacea canaliculata (2%) and Melanoides maculata (1%) were found to be positive for A. cantonensis among the snails collected. Analysis of host distribution showed overlapping habitats of rats and snails as well as residential and agricultural areas indicating risks to public health. This study presents a possible route of human infection for A. cantonensis through handling and consumption of P. canaliculata and M. maculata or crops contaminated by these snails.