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Review Article

Zoonotic Importance of Echinococcosis and Strategies for Its Prevention and Control

Chandra Shekhar, Amit Singh.

Echinococcosis is a parasitic zoonotic disease, caused by tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus of the family Taeniidae. Epidemiology of echinococcosis involves the domestic cycle as well as the wildlife cycle. The domestic cycle involves the domestic dog and sheep, while the wildlife cycle involves wild carnivores and herbivores. Cystic echinococcosis occurs worldwide except Antarctica. Latest estimates on cystic echinococcosis suggests an annual global incidence of at least 1,88,000 new cases of cystic echinococcosis. The seroprevalence of cystic echinococcosis have shown increasing trends in India. An overall significant increase from 15.0% (1984-2003) to 28.6% seropositivity (20042015) in humans has been observed in India. India is ranked first in cystic echinococcosis cases with 12% (119,320 cases) reported from India out of 973662 global human cases of cystic echinococcosis. Echinococcosis has great public health and economic impact. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasonography are useful for diagnosis of deep-seated lesions in the organs. The disease can be prevented and controlled by continuous surveillance of the disease, regular deworming of animals; slaughterhouse, food and personal hygiene; prevention of dogs to access infected meat and offal; creation of public awareness about the disease; vaccination of animals, especially sheep; combination of disease prevention and control programmes; intersectoral collaboration, and implementation of new surgical techniques for complete resection of cystic echinococcosis and complete resection of alveolar echinococcosis lesions.

Key words: Echinococcosis, Zoonotic, Alveolar, Cystic, Epidemiology, Prevention, Control

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