Control of cystic echinococcosis/hydatidosis: 1863-2002


Echinococcosis/hydatidosis, caused by Echinococcus granulosus, is a chronic and debilitating zoonotic larval cestode infection in humans, which is principally transmitted between dogs and domestic livestock, particularly sheep. Human hydatid disease occurs in almost all pastoral communities and rangeland areas of the underdeveloped and developed world. Control programmes against hydatidosis have been implemented in several endemic countries, states, provinces, districts or regions to reduce or eliminate cystic echinococcosis (CE) as a public health problem. This review assesses the impact of 13 of the hydatid control programmes implemented, since the first was introduced in Iceland in 1863. Five island-based control programmes (Iceland, New Zealand, Tasmania, Falklands and Cyprus) resulted, over various intervention periods (from <15 to >50 years), in successful control of transmission as evidenced by major reduction in incidence rates of human CE, and prevalence levels in sheep and dogs. By 2002, two countries, Iceland and New Zealand, and one island-state, Tasmania, had already declared that hydatid disease had been eliminated from their territories. Other hydatid programmes implemented in South America (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay), in Europe (mid-Wales, Sardinia) and in East Africa (northwest Kenya), showed varying degrees of success, but some were considered as having failed. Reasons for the eventual success of certain hydatid control programmes and the problems encountered in others are analysed and discussed, and recommendations for likely optimal approaches considered. The application of new control tools, including use of a hydatid vaccine, are also considered.<<<More Information>>>(membership required)