Epidemiology of Echinococcus granulosus infection in the central Peruvian Andes
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The prevalence of human, canine, and ovine echinococcosis was determined in an endemic area of the Peruvian Andes where control programmes have not been operational since 1980. Prevalence of infection in humans was determined using portable ultrasound, chest X-rays, and an enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB) assay. Canine and ovine echinococcal prevalence was determined by microscopic stool examinations following arecoline purging for tapeworm detection and by examination of the viscera from slaughtered livestock animals, respectively. The prevalence among 407 humans surveyed was 9. 1%. The frequency of disease in the liver, lung, and in both organs was 3.4%, 2.0%, and 0.2%, respectively. Portable ultrasound or portable chest X-ray has shown that, compared to adults, children under 11 years had significantly higher seropositive rates without evidence of hydatid disease (P < 0.05). Among the 104 dogs inspected for echinococcus after arecoline purging, 33 (32%) were positive for adult tapeworms. Among the 1 17 sheep slaughtered at the local abattoir, 102 (87%) had hydatid cysts. The prevalence of human hydatidosis in this endemic area of Peru is one of the highest in the world and nearly five times higher than previously reported in 1980. An increase in echinococcosis prevalence may result after premature cessation of control programmes.
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