Giant african snail

Asked February 25, 2015, 8:01 AM EST

Hi, i would like to know if giant pet african land snails carry diseases?

Outside United States

1 Response

Hello,

I do not know much about giant African land snails, but from what I can find those that are raised in captivity should not be a health issue.

From the Michigan USDA office:

The human health risk associated with handling the giant African land snails is low in the U.S. This type of snail is one of many types that can be infected with a parasite thatcan cause meningitis, but it is unknown if anyof these snails in the continental U.S. areinfected. The only way snails can become infected is by eating infected rat stool. Thelikelihood a snail is infected is considered lower if the snail was bred indoors and kept ina tank than if it was collected from the outdoors or ever been outdoors.Even if the snail is infected, the infection can spread to humans only under unusual circumstances. People may become infected by
eating raw or undercooked snails or slugs that contain a parasite. Whether the
slime shed by infected snails can contain parasite larvae and infect people is unknown. All snails, even those that are legal to possess, can carry salmonella and other bacteria. People who handle snails of uncertain origin should always wear gloves and thoroughly wash their hands afterhandling.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MDA_Giant_African_Land_Snail_Fact_Sheet_92709_7.pdf