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

  • Mindaugas Šarkūnas1,
  • Rasa Bružinskaitė1, 3,
  • Audronė Marcinkutė2,
  • Alexander Mathis3 and
  • Peter Deplazes3
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica201052(Suppl 1):S14

https://doi.org/10.1186/1751-0147-52-S1-S14

Published: 13 October 2010

Keywords

Hydatid CystEchinococcosisEchinococcusCystic EchinococcosisHuman Isolate

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.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Infectious Diseases, Lithuanian Veterinary Academy, Kaunas, Lithuania
(2)
Clinic of Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Dermatovenereology, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania
(3)
Institute of Parasitology, University of Zürich, Switzerland

References

  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.View ArticlePubMedGoogle 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, ItalyGoogle 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.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright

© Šarkūnas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

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