Update on Echinococcus multilocularis with particular emphasis on its impact on humans

Maggie Fisher
Friday, May 2, 2014

The range of Echinococcus multilocularis has extended over the past 4 years, effectively removing the ‘buffer zone’ of land between the channel coast and the western-most edge of its endemic area. This means that pet owners taking their dogs and cats across the channel should consider treating their dogs or cats at monthly intervals with a suitable cestocide containing praziquantel or equivalent if there is any chance of the pet having access to rodents. The role of cats as significant producers of eggs is markedly less than that of foxes or dogs. However the role of the cat as a source of infection within the domestic environment is less well defined.Infection of humans has a lag time of between 5 and 15 years before clinical signs are seen, thus it will be some time before the scale of zoonotic infections is known from the areas where the infection has now spread to. Diagnosis in humans relies on serology, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans to detect characteristic cystic lesions normally in the liver. Cure is most likely to be achieved if resection of the entire lesion is possible. Long-term benzimidazole treatment is normally administered to ensure control.In addition to regular cestocidal treatment of dogs and cats, cleanliness measures including hand washing before eating and wearing gloves when gardening can help with preventing human infection.

Update on Echinococcus multilocularis with particular emphasis on its impact on humans
Update on Echinococcus multilocularis with particular emphasis on its impact on humans

Subscribe to get full access to The Veterinary Nurse

Thank you for vising The Veterinary nurse and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the leading peer-reviewed journal for veterinary nurses, you can start your subscription today for just £26.

Subscribing will enable you to:

  • Stay up-to-date with current thinking and best practice in veterinary medicine
  • Enhance your knowledge and understanding of all key clinical topics
  • Achieve the mandatory requirement of 45 hours' documented CPD over a three-year period
Subscribe now

Already registered? - Sign in here

Download Now

Keep up to date with The Veterinary Nurse!

Sign up to The Veterinary Nurse's regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.