Skip to main content

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


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.


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.


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.


  1. Danilevičius E: Cystic echinococcosis and immunodiagnosis in pigs in Lithuania. PhD thesis. Kaunas. 1964, (in Lithuanian)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Marcinkutė A, Bareišienė MV, Bružinskaitė R, Šarkūnas M, Tamakauskienė R, Vėlyvytė D: Cystic echinococcosis in Lithuania. Lithuanian General Practitioner. 2006, 10: 8-11.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Mathis A, Deplazes P, Eckert J: An improved test system for PCR-based specific detection of Echinococcus multilocularis eggs. J Helminthol. 1996, 70: 219-222. 10.1017/S0022149X00015443.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Roepstorff A, Nansen P: The epidemiology, diagnosis and control of helminth parasites of swine. FAO Animal Health Manual 3, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 1998, Rome, Italy

    Google Scholar 

  5. Trachsel D, Deplazes P, Mathis A: Identification of taeniid eggs in the faeces from carnivores based on multiplex PCR using targets in mitochondrial DNA. Parasitology. 2007, 134: 911-920. 10.1017/S0031182007002235.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

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 (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Šarkūnas, M., Bružinskaitė, R., Marcinkutė, A. et al. Echinococcus granulosus (‘pig strain’, G6/7) in Southwestern Lithuania. Acta Vet Scand 52, S14 (2010).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


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