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Echinococcus granulosus (‘pig strain’, G6/7) in Southwestern Lithuania

Background

Cystic echinococcosis (CE) of pigs is widespread and known since many years in Lithuania [1]. Recently, the number of diagnosed cases of human CE began to increase [2] but only limited information is available on the main epidemiological aspects of this zoonosis.

Material and methods

During 2005-2006, post slaughter examination and morphological identification of cysts from pigs from small family farms (n=612) and industrial farms (n=73) was performed. Dog fecal samples (n=240) were collected in 12 villages and microscopically examined by egg flotation/sieving (F/Si) [3] and modified McMaster methods [4]). For the genetic identification of E. granulosus to species/strain level, PCR was performed with DNA from typical hydatid cysts from pigs (n=2), morphologically unidentifiable lesions from pigs (n=3), nonfertile cysts from cattle (n=3) and taeniid eggs from dog faecal samples (n=34) [5]. Risk factors for cystic echinococcosis were evaluated by a questionnaire.

Results

CE was prevalent in 13.2% (81/612) of the pigs reared in small family farms and 4.1% of those reared in industrial farms. Molecular analysis of isolated taeniid eggs revealed in 10.8% of the dogs investigated Taenia spp., in 3.8% E. granulosu s (G 6/7) and in 0.8% E. multilocularis. In addition, three samples from livers of human and from a cow were confirmed as E. granulosus larval stage by PCR. Sequence analysis confirmed the ‘pig strain’ (G 6/7) in all pig, dog, cattle and human isolates investigated. No significant risk factor for infections with E. granulosus or Taenia spp. could be identified.

Conclusion

The ‘pig strain’ of E. granulosus is highly prevalent in the southwestern part of Lithuania, and transmission is more likely in small family farms indicating a high exposure to cestode eggs in rural areas. Therefore control programs should be initiated with special reference to small family farms.

References

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Correspondence to Mindaugas Šarkūnas.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Šarkūnas, M., Bružinskaitė, R., Marcinkutė, A. et al. Echinococcus granulosus (‘pig strain’, G6/7) in Southwestern Lithuania. Acta Vet Scand 52, S14 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1751-0147-52-S1-S14

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Keywords

  • Hydatid Cyst
  • Echinococcosis
  • Echinococcus
  • Cystic Echinococcosis
  • Human Isolate