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The situation of echinococcosis in stray dogs in Turkey: the first finding of Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus ortleppi

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 May 2021

Hamza Avcioglu*
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey
Esin Guven
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey
Ibrahim Balkaya
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey
Ridvan Kirman
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey
Muzaffer Akyuz
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey
Mohammed Mebarek Bia
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey Department of Parasitology, Parasitology Research Center and Parasite Resource Bank, Chungbuk National University, School of Medicine, Cheongju28644, Korea
Hatice Gulbeyen
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey
Sali Yaya
Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Atatürk University, Erzurum25240, Turkey
Author for correspondence: Hamza Avcioglu, E-mail:


Echinococcosis, caused by larval stage of the genus Echinococcus, is one of the most important zoonotic diseases worldwide. The purpose of this study was to determine the presence and prevalence of Echinococcus species in stray dogs of Erzurum, a highly endemic region for cystic echinococcosis (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) in Turkey. The study samples consisted of 446 stray dog faecal specimens collected from an animal shelter in Erzurum, Turkey, between October 2015 and February 2016. The faecal samples were collected from individual dogs for the isolation of taeniid eggs using the sequential sieving and flotation method (SSFM). Molecular analyses and sequencing revealed the prevalence of Echinococcus spp. as 14.13% (63/446) in faecal samples. The stray dogs harboured five different Echinococcus spp.: E. granulosus s.s. (G1/G3) (n = 41), E. equinus (G4) (n = 3), E. ortleppi (G5) (n = 1), E. canadensis (G6/G7) (n = 3) and E. multilocularis (n = 16). E. granulosus s.s. was the most abundant species. Surprisingly, the occurrence of E. multilocularis in dogs was revealed for the first time in Turkey. E. ortleppi was also reported for the first time in Turkey. These findings highlight a significant public health risk for human AE and CE, presenting useful baseline data on Echinococcus spp. infection in dogs for designing control strategies.

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Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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