Echinococcus

  • What is it? Caused by infection with the larval (cystic) stage of tapeworms belonging to the genus Echinococcus.
  • How is it transmitted? People become infected by ingesting the Echinococcus eggs because of uncleanliness or by eating contaminated food, water and soil. Dogs will also act as a host and their feces can contaminate food in gardens and elsewhere.
  • What does it affect? Cysts most commonly develop in the liver, but can also be found in the lungs, kidney, spleen, nervous tissue, or bone.
  • What animals can potentially carry this? Wild carnivores, dogs and rodents.