Rat lung worm in Mallorca discovered: researchers warn of dishes with snails

Two weeks ago, it will take up in the first provinces, the autumn holidays start. While in Germany, slowly but surely, dingy weather makes wide, so use some family time to escape to warmer and sunnier climes. A popular destination is also likely to be in again this year in Mallorca.

There, researchers in Palma de Mallorca-based Balearic Islands-University have made a discovery that should make lovers of the traditional Appetizer “Caracoles”, a snail dish, sit up and take notice. Thus, the scientists were able to screw in two on the island discovered a hedgehog, which is known for lovers, the extremely rare rat lung worm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) to demonstrate that it can also be dangerous for humans, in the worst case, even death. According to the biologists warned now at a press conference prior to the consumption of raw or not fully cooked snails, such as the “Mallorca Zeitung” reported. In addition, they recommended wearing of gloves and to wash vegetables and fruits before eating thoroughly.

Rat lung worm infection can be in the worst case, fatal

Thus, infection with the parasite enters through contaminated food or intermediate hosts such as snails in the human body can skins, eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, i.e. inflammation of the brain and of the brain, to trigger. This, in turn, can cause severe headache and neurologic deficits, and for the Ill in a coma, or even death – especially in people with a weakened immune system.

The discovery of the Mallorcan researchers caused for quite a stir, because of the originally in the Pacific and Southeast Asia widespread parasite could be detected according to the figures, previously only Once in Europe, concretely in the year 2016 in the case of a patient in France. Because the two studied hedgehogs come from geographically isolated regions, fear of the scientists, the rat lung worm is transferred to the Balearic island is already active, and more widespread, as they write in the journal “Eurosurveillance”.

The researchers go further in the discussion part of their study one step further: By Mallorca is connected by sea and air tight with the European mainland, it did alone were 2018, approximately 16.5 million tourists to Mallorca, and also rats and snails were widespread, could be promoted from spreading further, the conclusion you infer. Panic, the scientists do not want to stir up but. So you emphasize that there is a risk of infection in humans is low.

Snails are an intermediate host of the rat-Lungenwurms

The rat lung worm is so called, because he – females more precisely, the adult in the right heart chamber and the lung arteries of rats, the main host, live and eggs are set free. The hatched larvae move from there in the gastro-intestinal tract of the host and are excreted with the feces.

Eats a intermediate host such as snail these precipitates, the larvae in the Mollusc, which, in turn, is on the food list of birds or mammals such as the hedgehog. In a late development stage of the larvae to search again, the brain and pulmonary arteries, they can also skins to the brain or affected the Central nervous system and the diseases mentioned above cause. The main host, the rat, is infected, therefore, by eating an intermediate host.

Sources: journal “Eurosurveillance” / press release Universitat de les Illes Baleares / “Mallorca Zeitung”

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