Echinococcosis, also called hydatid disease, hydatidosis, or echinococcal disease, is a parasitic disease of tapeworms of the Echinococcus type. The two main types of the disease are cystic echinococcosis and alveolar echinococcosis.
Symptoms: Because the cysts are slow-growing, infection with CE may not produce any symptoms for many years. Pain or discomfort in the upper abdominal region or chest, nausea, vomiting, or coughing may occur as a result of the growing cysts. Rupture of cyst fluid can lead to or even death.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis of cyallergic reactions stic echinococcosis. Imaging techniques, such as CT scans, ultrasonography, and MRIs, are used to detect cysts. After a cyst has been detected, serologic tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis.
Treament: Chemotherapy, cyst puncture, and PAIR (percutaneous aspiration, injection of chemicals and reaspiration) have been used to replace surgery as effective treatments for cystic echinococcosis. However, surgery remains the most effective treatment to remove the cyst and can lead to a complete cure. Some cysts are not causing any symptoms and are inactive; those cysts often go away without any treatment. The treatment of alveolar echinococcosis is more difficult than cystic echinococcosis and usually requires radical surgery, long-term chemotherapy, or both.
Epidemology: An update on Cystic Echinococcosis (CE) diffusion in Italy during 2003-2005 is reported. CE seems to have a sporadic diffusion in the northern part of the country where this disease plays a minor role (prevalence < 1%). Recent investigations have shown the occurrence of CE cases in humans from the mountains between Reggio Emilia and Modena, with an average year incidence between 9.4 and 5.6/100,000.