Date of Award

Winter 1-8-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Lisa Casanova

Second Advisor

David Hudson


Paragonimus spp. are parasites that infect many populations worldwide. It is predicted that infection rates within Asia reach ten to fifteen percent of the total population. Three largest areas of possible infection are Asia, Central and South America as well as Africa where the total population at risk is estimated to be 293 million people. Ingestion of raw or undercooked crustaceans are the source of infection to mammals. The crustaceans Neostrengeria macropa and Procambarus clarkii in Bogotá, Colombia were collected from local markets, pet stores and waterways. Dissection for presence of parasites is imperative to estimate the prevalence of crustacean infection by lung flukes. The preliminary findings show, pending laboratory confirmation, that the native crab species, N. macropa, has a prevalence of 17.2% infection. Invasive crayfish species, P. clarkii has a prevalence of 36.4% from both captive and field capture samples. While the prevalence estimated within this study is lower than compared to previous research in other cities of Colombia, there may be a number of factors that contribute to the difference in prevalence including: collecting season, overall low rainfall, temperature, altitude and the El Niño Southern Oscillation.