Echinococcus multilocularis: an emerging threat to pets and people
Did you know?
- Since 2001, at least 12 cases have been reported in humans in Canada, although some of those patients may have traveled outside the country1
- Echinococcus multilocularis has a sylvatic lifecycle and is maintained naturally in wildlife populations
To see the life cycle of tapeworms, click here.
A significant public health concern:
- Accidental ingestion of eggs by humans can cause parasitic tumors in the liver, lungs, brain and other organs1
- Cysts grow slowly and may not produce clinical signs in humans for up to 15 years
- Symptoms include pain in the upper abdominal region, weakness and weight loss2
- Human alveolar echinococcosis (AE) infection has a 5% cure rate3
- Left untreated, AE can be fatal2
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Regular deworming reduces the risk of disease and disease transmission
Discuss the risk of E. multilocularis with pet owners to determine a strategic deworming plan for dogs with exposure to wild rodents.
- Massolo A, Liccioli S, Budke C, et al. (2014). Echinococcus multilocularis in North America: the great unknown. Parasite. 21:73.
- Parasites – Echinococcosis: General Information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/echinococcosis/index.html. Accessed October 4, 2016.
- Kern P, Bardonnet K, Renner E, et al. (2003). European Echinococcosis Registry: Human Alveolar Echinococcosis, Europe, 1982-2000. Emerg Infect Dis. 9(3):343-349.
- Peregrine A, Kotwa J. (2016). Echinococcus multilocularis: an emerging threat to canine and human health in Canada? Canadian Vet. 11(3):14-16.