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Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2013 Sep-Oct;126(9-10):408-14.

[Lethal alveolar echinococcosis in a dog: clinical symptoms and pathology].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Institut für Tierpathologie, Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Deutschland.


Epidemiological data indicate a progressing spread of the fox tapeworm in Germany. Here we report on a case of lethal alveolar echinococcosis in a dog from Brandenburg. The patient was clinically presented with abdominal distension. Ultrasonic examination revealed severe structural alterations of the liver and in a fine needle aspiration cytology larval tape worm fragments were suspected. Explorative laparotomy suggested inoperable lesions and the animal was euthanized with unfavorable prognosis. Pathology confirmed the diagnosis of hepatic echinococcosis. PCR analysis of the liver identified Echinococcus multilocularis, the so called "small fox tapeworm". The infection, reportable in Germany, is an important zoonotic disease that is transmitted by accidentally ingested tapeworm eggs shed by foxes or dogs. The prevalence between 7.6% and 16.7% in the fox population of Brandenburg is significantly lower than in the endemic regions of South and Southwest Germany, however, it is suspected to increase. This underlines the importance of a regional monitoring in domestic animals living in close contact to humans. In this regard, especially dogs should be taken into consideration as a potential definitive host and source of infection for people.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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