Background: Recent studies on geographic distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis in Europe show that it has a wider range than previously thought. It is unclear, however, if the wider distribution is due to its recent spreading or to a lack of previous data from the new areas. Italy, previously considered E. multilocularis-free, is now part of these new areas: infected foxes (the main definitive host of the tapeworm) have been observed in a Northern Alpine territory. Thus, more surveys need to be done in other Italian regions in order to monitor the spreading of E. multilocularis. The aim of the present study was to look for this parasite in 283 foxes collected in an Apennine area of Central Italy by different diagnostic methods. Results: The foxes were heavily parasitized by 11 helminthic genera, but none of the animals was infected by E. multilocularis neither by E. granulosus (harboured adult worms or their DNA). Low specificity was observed in commercially available ELISA kits for the detection of E. multilocularis antigens in the faeces. Molecular diagnostics were sensitive and specific for the detection and identification of tapeworm eggs in faeces, but less sensitive, although specific, to adult tapeworms in the intestinal content. Conclusion: Preliminarily, we can say that no E. multilocularis could be found in the study area. These data will enable us to follow temporal changes of the spatial distribution of the parasite in the study area of the Central Apennines. Due to its low specificity the ELISA kit for E. multilocularis coproantigens is not suitable for epidemiological surveys, whereas molecular diagnostics applied to faecal samples give useful results. Finally, absence of E. granulosus in foxes living in the endemic areas studied confirms the thought that this tapeworm prefers a different definitive host.
|Autori:||Calderini P; Magi M; Gabrielli S; Brozzi A; Kumlien S; Grifoni G; Iori A; Cancrini G|
|Titolo:||Investigation on the occurrence of Echinococcus multilocularis in Central Italy|
|Anno del prodotto:||2009|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1186/1746-6148-5-44|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|