Indexed on: 08 Aug '16Published on: 07 Aug '16Published in: Food and Waterborne Parasitology
Zoonotic Echinococcus spp. cestodes are present in almost all circumpolar nations, and have historically posed a risk to health of indigenous as well as other northern residents. However, surveillance data on both alveolar (AE) and cystic (CE) echinococcosis remains incomplete throughout the circumpolar region: Russia, Fennoscandia, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and Alaska (USA). Prevalence of Echinococcus spp. varies considerably in definitive canid hosts, animal intermediate hosts and accidental hosts like humans. Yet despite the high prevalence reported in canids in some geographic locations, human AE and CE are much less common than in endemic Asian and central European countries. This paper explores knowledge gaps and future challenges posed by Echinococcus spp. in eight circumpolar countries, a region where rapid environmental and social change are rewriting the boundaries, transmission, and impact of many pathogens, including zoonotic Echinococcus spp.