Alicia Rojas , 1 , Arnaldo Maldonado-Junior 2 , Javier Mora 1 , Alessandra Morassutti 3 , Rubens Rodriguez 3 , Alberto Solano-Barquero 1 , Anamariela Tijerino 4 , Marianela Vargas 4 , Carlos Graeff-Teixeira 5
22 July 2021
Angiostrongylus costaricensis is a zoonotic parasitic nematode described for the first time in 1971 by Pedro Morera and Rodolfo Céspedes in Costa Rica. This parasite causes an infection known as abdominal angiostrongyliasis, affecting mainly school-aged children and young adults. Infection with A. costaricensis has been associated with a myriad of rodent and mollusk species in the Americas and the Caribbean, as its natural hosts and reservoirs. In this commemorative review, we highlight the extensive research collected through a 50-year journey, which includes ecological, pathological, and molecular studies on A. costaricensis and its implicated disease. We also identify major knowledge gaps in its evolutionary history, the ecological role of imported and invasive mollusk species, and immune response. We propose that the advent of -omics analyses will allow us to gather novel information regarding A. costaricensis biology and infection dynamics, as well as to promote the design of much-needed sensitive and specific diagnostic tools.