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Echinococcus metacestodes as laboratory models for the screening of drugs against cestodes and trematodes

  • A. HEMPHILL (a1), B. STADELMANN (a1), S. SCHOLL (a1), J. MÜLLER (a1), M. SPILIOTIS (a1), N. MÜLLER (a1), B. GOTTSTEIN (a1) and M. SILES-LUCAS (a2)...


Among the cestodes, Echinococcus granulosus, Echinococcus multilocularis and Taenia solium represent the most dangerous parasites. Their larval stages cause the diseases cystic echinococcosis (CE), alveolar echincoccosis (AE) and cysticercosis, respectively, which exhibit considerable medical and veterinary health concerns with a profound economic impact. Others caused by other cestodes, such as species of the genera Mesocestoides and Hymenolepis, are relatively rare in humans. In this review, we will focus on E. granulosus and E. multilocularis metacestode laboratory models and will review the use of these models in the search for novel drugs that could be employed for chemotherapeutic treatment of echinococcosis. Clearly, improved therapeutic drugs are needed for the treatment of AE and CE, and this can only be achieved through the development of medium-to-high throughput screening approaches. The most recent achievements in the in vitro culture and genetic manipulation of E. multilocularis cells and metacestodes, and the accessability of the E. multilocularis genome and EST sequence information, have rendered the E. multilocularis model uniquely suited for studies on drug-efficacy and drug target identification. This could lead to the development of novel compounds for the use in chemotherapy against echinococcosis, and possibly against diseases caused by other cestodes, and potentially also trematodes.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Andrew Hemphill, Institute of Parasitology Vetsuisse Faculty, University of BerneLänggass-Strasse 122, CH-3012Berne, Switzerland. Tel: +41 31 6312384. Fax: +41 31 6312477. Email:


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Echinococcus metacestodes as laboratory models for the screening of drugs against cestodes and trematodes

  • A. HEMPHILL (a1), B. STADELMANN (a1), S. SCHOLL (a1), J. MÜLLER (a1), M. SPILIOTIS (a1), N. MÜLLER (a1), B. GOTTSTEIN (a1) and M. SILES-LUCAS (a2)...


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