A unique human case of alveolar echinococcosis was described in 1979 from the Klatovy district of the Czech Republic. However, there were no previous epidemiological studies in this area focusing on detection of the source of infection – Echinococcus multilocularis adults producing eggs. During the period June 1997 to April 1999, 29 out of a total of 46 (63.3%) red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in the Klatovy district and one of four foxes (25.0%) in the Pilsen South district were found to be infected with adult worms of E. multilocularis. No E. multilocularis adults were found in other animals from the Klatovy district (i.e. three specimens of Martes martes, two Martes foina, one Mustela erminea, two Meles meles and one Felis catus f. domestica). An examination of faecal samples from 55 dogs (Canis familiaris) from the Klatovy district resulted in the detection of E. multilocularis DNA in one (1.8%) sample. The present results support the possibility that human alveolar echinococcosis previously described in the Czech Republic had the character of an autochthonous infection. There are also indications of a potential risk of infection to humans.