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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Nov;5(11):e1379. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001379. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in carnivores in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran using mitochondrial DNA.

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Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran.


Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST) and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%). Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8%) dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8%) jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp.


The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts.

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