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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.
Echinococcus multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis (AE), one of the most threatening zoonoses in Eurasia. Human AE is widespread in the Erzurum region of Turkey, but the situation of the disease in intermediate and definitive hosts is unknown. A Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) was killed in a traffic accident in the north of Erzurum, and was taken to our laboratory. Sedimentation and counting technique (SCT), DNA isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis were performed. The SCT results showed that the lynx was infected with E. multilocularis with a medium (745 worms) worm burden. The DNA of adult worms obtained from the lynx was analyzed with a species-specific PCR, and the worms were confirmed to be E. multilocularis by 12S rRNA gene sequence analysis. This is the first report of E. multilocularis from Eurasian lynx in Turkey.
Echinococcus multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis (AE), a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. Large parts of Turkey are considered as endemic for E. multilocularis. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of metacestode of E. multilocularis in wild rodents in Erzurum, an endemic region for human AE in Turkey. During the sampling period, a total of 498 rodents were trapped in twenty counties of Erzurum Province. Suspected lesions were observed on the livers of 48 rodents, and then partial fragment of mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene was PCR-amplified. Five liver samples exhibited E. multilocularis infection. The prevalence of E. multilocularis for Microtus spp. was 1·3%. All of the infected rodents had fertile metacestodes. Infected rodents were morphologically and molecularly analysed and were confirmed to be Microtus irani by the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence analysis. This is the first report of the presence of E. multilocularis in rodent intermediate hosts in Turkey. Our findings of infected M. irani with protoscoleces show that this rodent can act as suitable intermediate host for E. multilocularis’ life cycle in Turkey. However, there was a complete lack of data on the infection of carnivores from the country. An extensive survey is recommended to determine the prevalence of E. multilocularis in definitive hosts in this endemic region.
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