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Echinococcus

Echinococcus species are small tapeworms (max. 6 mm long) and have only a few (two to six) proglottids (see fig.). The most important species of the genus Echinococcus are Echinococcus granulosus (Dwarf dog tapeworm) and Echinococcus multilocuralis (Dwarf fox tapeworm).

The Echinococcus granulosus (Dwarf dog tapeworm) occurs worldwide, with relative high prevalences in eastern and south-eastern Europe, the Mediterranean countries, the Near East, northern and eastern Africa, South America and various parts of Asia and Australia.

The most important definitive host is the dog, whereby other Canidae (jackal, dingo and other wild canids) are involved in certain regions. Herbivorous and omnivorous vertebrates function as intermediate hosts, in particular domestic animals (ruminants, pigs, horses, camels) and in some areas wild animals as well.

Echinococcus multilocularis (Dwarf fox tapeworm) is widespread in the northern hemisphere with endemic regions in Europe, Asia (Turkey, Iran, Russia and bordering countries all the way to Japan), and North America (Alaska, Canada, northern and central US states). In Central Europe the parasite is widely distributed with prevalence levels in foxes exceeding 50% in some areas. The most important definitive hosts are red and polar foxes, although other wild carnivores (e.g. coyotes, raccoons, wolves) as well as dogs and cats can also carry this tapeworm species. The intermediate hosts are usually rodents (field mice, voles, muskrats etc.).  

Humans are infected by peroral ingestion of Echinococcus eggs, either during direct contact with tapeworm carriers or indirectly by uptake of contaminated food (wild berries, vegetables, windfall fruit etc.) or drinking water. From which the oncospheres are released in the small intestine, penetrate into its wall and migrate hematogenously into the liver, as well as sometimes into the lungs and other organs. At first, the oncospheres develop into little vesicles, then gradually into metacestodes (fluid-filled cyst). The metacestodes of Echinococcus multilocularis is a conglomerate with an alveolar structure comprised of small cysts surrounded by granulomatous or connective tissue (alveolar Echinococcosis).

Species

Disease

Symptoms

Mechanism of infection

Echinococcus granulosus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echinococcus multilocularis

 

 

Cystic Echinococcosis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alveolar Echinococcosis

The cystic echinococcosis is always asymptomatic initially and it remains so for longer periods in a proportion of cases, especially when only small, well encapsulated or calcified cysts are present. Symptoms may appear after months or years when one ore more cysts negom to disrupt organ functions due to their size, localization or expansive growth

The initial phase of an infection is always asymptomatic. Following a long incubation period, usually 10-15 years, the infection of the liver may present with symptoms resembling those of a malignant tumor

Infection by peroral ingestion of Echinococcus eggs

 

 

 

 

 

Main source of infection:

Contaminated food (wild berries, vegetables, windfall fruit etc.)

Infections may be diagnosed by:

  • Microscopy: Mainly leads to diagnose
  • Serology: Determination of specific antibodies based on the ELISA-technique. The differentiation between Echinococcus granulosus und Echinococcus multilocularis is not possible 

NovaLisa? Echinococcus IgG ELISA:

The NovaLisa? Echinococcus IgG ELISA is intended for the qualitative determination of IgG class antibodies against Echinococcus in human serum or plasma (citrate).

Antigens:

Purified Echinococcus multilocularis antigens

Specific performance characteristics:

Intraassay

Interassay

Sensitivity

Specificity

n

Mean

CV%

n

Meam

CV%

IgG

8

1.33

6.3

12

1.29

7.3

>95%

>95%

Order information:

ELISA

Number of Determinations

Product Number

Echinococcus IgG

96

ECHG0130

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Product Insert

Echinococcus IgG