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Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 May-Jun; 7(3): 408–412.
PMCID: PMC2631798

Is high prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis in wild and domestic animals associated with disease incidence in humans?


We investigated a focus of highly endemic Echinococcus multilocularis infection to assess persistence of high endemicity in rural rodents, explore potential for parasite transmission to domestic carnivores, and assess (serologically) putative exposure versus infection frequency in inhabitants of the region. From spring 1993 to spring 1998, the prevalence of E. multilocularis in rodents was 9% to 39% for Arvicola terrestris and 10% to 21% for Microtus arvalis. From June 1996 to October 1997, 6 (7%) of 86 feral dogs and 1 of 33 cats living close to the region tested positive for intestinal E. multilocularis infection. Testing included egg detection by coproscopy, antigen detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and specific parasite DNA amplification by polymerase chain reaction. Thus, the presence of infected domestic carnivores can increase E. multilocularis exposure risk in humans. A seroepidemiologic survey of 2,943 blood donors in the area used specific Em2-ELISA. Comparative statistical analyses of seroprevalence and clinical incidence showed an increase in Em2-seroprevalence from 1986 and 1996-97 but no increase in clinical incidence of alveolar hydatid disease.

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Selected References

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