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August 16th, 2014

Dietary Advice From Your Friendly ID Doc: Don’t Eat Garden Slugs

Alys Fowler: monster slugsFrom the pages of Open Forum Infectious Diseases, comes this cautionary case report:

Toxocariasis After Slug Ingestion Characterized by Severe Neurologic, Ocular, and Pulmonary Involvement

I encourage you to read the full paper, but the short story is that a previously healthy 71-year-old man was admitted to a hospital in France with fever, cough, headaches, confusion, and eosinophilia. A comprehensive (that’s an understatement) work-up found elevated antibody levels to Toxocara canis, otherwise known as the dog roundworm.

But the case truly hinges on this sensational sentence.

One month later, a reassessment of the case history revealed a long-standing daily intake of 2 or 3 raw local slugs for alternative therapy of gastroesophageal reflux; this information prompted us to perform further investigations.

Vive La France!

And oh yeah, ID doctors take the best medical histories.

4 Responses to “Dietary Advice From Your Friendly ID Doc: Don’t Eat Garden Slugs”

  1. Holly batterman says:

    Thanks Paul. It will be tough to give up the slug habit!

  2. JDB says:

    The patient should have stuck with escargot (on view in the video). Vive la France, indeed!

  3. Sandy Kimmel, M.D. says:

    Escargot anyone!

  4. Sam Wak says:

    But the snail next to the mating slug, that’s edible? Cooked of course.

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HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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