Echinococcus granulosus

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Key Points

  • Echinococcus granulosus
    • Cestode (tapeworm)
    • Disease
      • Hydatid cyst (eggshell calcification) in liver
        • Most common cause of hydatid cysts in humans
        • Typically asymptomatic
          • Slow growing - years to decades
            • Nonspecific mass effect s/sx over time
        • Cyst rupture → Anaphylaxis
        • Pulmonary hydatidosis / lung involvement
          • ~25% of cases with liver involvement also involve lung
            • Nonspecific s/sx: chest pain, coughing up blood, dyspnea, etc
    • Transmission
      • Ingestion of eggs in dog poop
        • AKA “dog tapeworm”
      • Sheep are an intermediate host (and sometimes other hoofed animals)
        • Sheep herders are classic example of at-risk group
    • Treatment
      • Albendazole
      • Other treatments possible too -- like surgical / other antiparasitics. Lots of somewhat non-specific stuffEverything is slightly nonspecific