February 6, 2023

Echinococcus multilocularis Echinococcus granulosus in the Baltics


In the Baltic countries, the two zoonotic diseases, alveolar echinococcosis (AE) caused by Echinococcus multilocularis, and cystic echinococcosis (CE) caused by Echinococcus granulosus, are of increasing public health concern. Observations from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania indicate thatthe distribution of both parasites is wider in the Baltics than previously expected. In this paper, we review and discuss the available data, regarding both parasitoses in animals and humans, from the Baltic countries and selected adjacent regions. The data are not easily comparable but reveal a worrisome situation as the number of human AE and CE cases is increasing. Despite improvements in diagnostics and treatment, AE has a high morbidity and mortality in the Baltic region. For the control of both zoonoses, monitoring transmission patterns and timely diagnosis in humans as well as the development of local control programs present major challenges.<<<Read More>>>


First records of Dirofilaria repens in wild canids from the region of Central Balkan


Dirofilaria repens causes an emerging zoonotic disease in Europe, particularly in its southern part, the Mediterranean region. Many reports on human dirofilariosis have been published recently, but little is known about the wildlife hosts and reservoirs of this parasite in nature. This paper presents the first records of adult D. repens specimens from free-ranging carnivores in Central Balkan countries (Serbia and Macedonia). During the period 2009–2013, a total of 145 regularly shot canids were examined for the presence of D. repens adults. In order to investigate their role as hosts and potential wild reservoirs of this zoonosis, 71 wolves (Canis lupus), 48 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 26 jackals (Canis aureus) were examined. Under the skin of two wolves (one from Serbia and one from Macedonia) and of a red fox from Serbia D. repens adults were found. In all three cases only one parasite was present. Further research on wild canids is needed, particularly on species widening their range (such as jackals) and those living near human settlements (foxes and jackals), which facilitates the transmission of the parasites to dogs and humans.<<<Read More>>>