Newly Discovered Slug Causes A Life Threatening Disease

Robert Hollingsworth, a research entomologist with the US Department of Agriculture, discovered a new species of slug in Hawaii. After a bit of research it was determined that this type of slug is a more dangerous carrier of the parasite known as angiostrongylus cantonensis. This parasite causes a disease known as rat lungworm disease if exposed to humans.

The parasite originates in rats, and is then passed on to slugs and snails that feed on rat feces. At the time Hollingsworth discovered the slug he also noted that three members of a family that lived near the dangerous slugs had come down with rat lungworm disease. That was back in 2004, and now Hollingsworth is going to return to the region in Hawaii where the largely unknown slug was found in order to ascertain the slug’s current distribution. The slug is often found on produce or in sinks where people prepare food. If you know where to find any of these slugs then notify the closest entomology department.

Could these slugs survive in an environment that is not tropical?

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