Fig. 1 Adult Echinoccocus granulosus Echinococcus granulosus (E. granulosus), also known as hyper tape-worm, hydatid worm or dog tapeworm, is a cyclophyllid cestode that causes cystic echinococcosis (also called hydatid disease). Echinococcus granulosus parasitizes the small intestine of canids as an adult, however, it also have important intermediate hosts like human, in which it causes cystic echinococcosis, or hydatid disease. First identified in Alaska, Echinococcus granulosus is now distributed world widely and is especially prevalent in parts of Eurasia, Australia, north and east Africa, and South America.
Adult individual of Echinococcus granulosus ranges in length from 3 mm to 6 mm. It has 3 proglottids: an immature proglottid, mature proglottid and a gravid proglottid. The gravid proglottid usually contains more than 800 eggs. Echinococcus granulosus has four suckers on its "head" (scolex) as well as all the other species of cyclophyllideans. It also has a rostellum with hooks. Several E. granulosus strains have been identified now, and only two of them are thought to be non-infective in humans.
E. granulosus requires a definitive host and an intermediate host. Definitive hosts of E.granulosus are dogs, and the intermediate hosts may include sheep, cattle, pigs, horses, and goats, and camels are also potential intermediate hosts. Sheep is the most commonly intermediate hosts. Humans can also act as an intermediate host but this is uncommon. E. granulosus is ingested in the definitive host and attaches to the mucosa of the intestines of definitive host. It grows into mature stage within the definitive host. Mature E. granulosus is then transmitted from the intermediate host to the definitive host through frequent feeding of consuming offal (organ foods). The infection many factors however, such as frequency of offal feedings, the age of the intermediate host, the prevalence of the parasites within the offal, etc.
Fig.2 Life cycle of Echinoccocus granulosus
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