Robert Cowie, PBRC Research Professor, recently co-organized and attended the Third International Rat Lungworm Workshop in Guangzhou, China. The workshop, held at Sun Yat-Sen University on 22-25 November, brought together researchers from around the world who presented their most recent research on the biology and genomics of the parasite, methods of detecting the parasite in hosts, interactions between the parasite and host, diagnosis of the disease, and public education.
Rat lungworm disease is caused by a nematode parasite that uses snails and slugs as its intermediate hosts. It can cause serious illness in humans and is an increasing problem in Hawaiʻi. Cowie presented the findings of work done by his graduate student, Jaynee Kim, with additional co-authors Ken Hayes and Norine Yeung, both of PBRC.
Cowie is an expert in rat lungworm disease and is involved not only in research on the parasite, but also in educating the public about this potentially devastating disease.
More information about how to minimize exposure to rat lungworm disease can be found at the CTAHR website: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/FST-39.pdf.