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Ecohealth Research in Practice

Volume 1 of the series Insight and Innovation in International Development pp 191-201

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Rebuilding Urban Ecosystems for Better Community Health in Kathmandu

  • D. D. JoshiAffiliated withNational Zoonoses and Food Hygiene Research Centre (NZFHRC) Email author 
  • , Minu SharmaAffiliated withNational Zoonoses and Food Hygiene Research Centre (NZFHRC)
  • , David Waltner-ToewsAffiliated withOntario Veterinary College, University of Guelph

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Abstract

In 1991, the National Zoonoses and Food Hygiene Research Centre (NZFHRC) in Nepal and the University of Guelph, Canada, began to work together to understand and control the transmission of a tapeworm infection called echinococcosis or hydatidosis in Wards 19 and 20 of Kathmandu. Ecchinococcocus species are small tapeworms that depend on 2 animal hosts to complete their reproductive lifecycle. The mature tapeworm lives in the intestine of a dog or other canine. The worm eggs are shed in dog faeces, contaminating the environment. A herbivorous animal may ingest the eggs while grazing, thus becoming an intermediate host for the immature stage of the worm. This immature tapeworm forms large thick-walled cysts in the organs of the intermediate host, not usually causing much harm to the animal, depending on the location and number of cysts. When the intermediate host is eaten by a dog or canine, the immature tapeworms take hold in the carnivore’s intestine and develop into mature worms, completing the lifecycle.