A blind passenger: a rare case of documented seroconversion in an Angiostrongylus cantonensis induced eosinophilic meningitis in a traveler visiting friends and relatives.
Brummaier T., Bertschy S., Arn K., Treumann T., Ruf M-T., Nickel B., Paris DH., Neumayr A., Blum J.
<h4>Background</h4>Eosinophilic meningitis (EOM) is a rare condition that is caused by various communicable and non-communicable factors. The rat-lungworm <i>Angiostrongylus cantonensis</i>, which is associated with consumption of raw or undercooked paratenic or intermediate hosts, is the most common cause of parasitic eosinophilic meningitis worldwide. While the majority of <i>A. cantonensis</i> cases are reported from endemic regions, cases in travelers pose a challenge to clinicians in non-endemic countries. Here we report a rare case of eosinophilic meningitis caused by <i>A. cantonensis</i> in a Swiss traveler who was diagnosed after returning from Thailand.<h4>Case presentation</h4>A 33-year old woman with a travel history to rural north-eastern Thailand presented to an emergency department in Switzerland with severe headache and vomiting. Eosinophilic meningitis was confirmed as the cause of the symptoms; however, serologic investigations failed to confirm an <i>A. cantonensis</i> infection on the first evaluation. Nevertheless, empirical treatment with an anthelminthic and steroid regimen led to a rapid alleviation of symptoms. Repeated serology confirmed seroconversion 2 weeks after treatment initiation.<h4>Discussion</h4>Parasitic etiology must be considered in returning travelers who present with symptoms compatible with a central nervous system infection. A thorough medical history, including types of food consumed, is paramount and can often suggest differential diagnosis. Neuroangiostrongyliasis is rare and might be missed if serology does not cover possible seroconversion.