Echinococcus granulosus

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Summary

Echinococcus granulosus is a tapeworm parasite that is transmitted through dog feces. Sheeps are intermediates hosts of Echinococcus granulosus. An infection presents with hydatid cyst formations in the liver, characterized by eggshell calcification. After the hydatid cysts grow, they can rupture, causing anaphylaxis. Finally, the main treatment option is Albendazole. 

Key Points

  • Echinococcus granulosus
    • Characteristics
      • Type of cestode (tapeworm) parasite
    • Transmission
      • Ingestion of eggs in dog feces
      • Sheep are an intermediate host
        • Dogs that consume organs of home-processed sheep become infected
    • Presentation
      • Hydatid cyst in liver
        • Appears as eggshell calcifications on CT
        • Cyst rupture → Anaphylaxis
      • Pulmonary hydatidosis / lung involvement
    • Treatment
      • Albendazole