POSTED: 05:09 a.m. HST, Aug 15, 2011
An international scientific workshop about a parasitic infection known as rat lungworm disease is scheduled to be held in Honolulu this week.
The Wednesday and Thursday workshop led by University of Hawaii researchers brings together scientists and clinicians from countries including Brazil, Jamaica, China and Thailand.
Their goal is to develop a research agenda to address the disease on a global scale.
Rat lungworm disease is contracted when people ingest the immature worms that are carried by snails and slugs. Ingestion is often inadvertent, such as eating a small baby slug on a lettuce leaf.
Snails and slugs become infected with the worms by feeding on feces from infected rodents, primarily rats.
The workshop at the Ala Moana Hotel is partially funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.