Author(s): Zhang W, Li J, McManus DP
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Abstract Echinococcosis is a cosmopolitan zoonosis caused by adult or larval stages of cestodes belonging to the genus Echinococcus (family Taeniidae). The two major species of medical and public health importance are Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, which cause cystic echinococcosis (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE), respectively. Both CE and AE are both serious diseases, the latter especially so, with a high fatality rate and poor prognosis if managed inappropriately. This review discusses new concepts and approaches in the immunology and diagnosis of CE, but comparative reference has also been made to AE infection and to earlier pivotal studies of both diseases. The review considers immunity to infection in the intermediate and definitive hosts, innate resistance, evasion of the immune system, and vaccination of intermediate and definitive hosts, and it particularly emphasizes procedures for diagnosis of CE and AE, including the value of immunodiagnostic approaches. There is also discussion of the new advances in recombinant and related DNA technologies, especially application of PCR, that are providing powerful tools in the fields of vaccinology and molecular diagnosis of echinococcosis.
This article was published in Clin Microbiol Rev
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System