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Establishment of a European-type strain of Echinococcus multilocularis in Canadian wildlife

  • K. GESY (a1), J. E. HILL (a1), H. SCHWANTJE (a2), S. LICCIOLI (a3) and E. J. JENKINS (a1)...

In 2009, a haplotype closely related to European strains of Echinococcus multilocularis was detected in a dog from the Quesnel region of British Columbia, Canada. We now report the establishment of this same haplotype in 7 coyotes (Canis latrans) trapped within 40 km of Quesnel, BC. In addition, 3 coyotes and 1 red fox (Vulpes vulpes) harboured adult cestodes morphologically compatible with that of E. multilocularis (overall prevalence 33% in 33 carnivores). None of 156 potential intermediate hosts, including 131 representatives of two highly suitable rodent species, Peromyscus maniculatus and Microtus pennsylvanicus, trapped from a region 120–210 km south of Quesnel were infected. This report confirms the establishment and local transmission of a European-type strain of E. multilocularis (the causative agent of human alveolar hydatid disease), in wildlife in a forested region of North America where this cestode had not been previously detected, with significance for public and animal health.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Department of Veterinary Microbiology, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Dr, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada. E-mail:
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