Parasitology Research

, Volume 92, Issue 4, pp 347–351 | Cite as

Polymerase chain reaction for detection of patent infections of Echinococcus granulosus (“sheep strain”) in naturally infected dogs

  • Saša Štefanić
  • Block S. Shaikenov
  • Peter Deplazes
  • Anke Dinkel
  • Paul R. Torgerson
  • Alexander MathisEmail author
Rapid Communication


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the identification of eggs of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus (“sheep strain”) was evaluated with primers derived from mitochondrial sequences. Specificity of these primers was confirmed by investigating DNA of other strains of E. granulosus and of 14 helminth species which inhabit the intestines of dogs. This PCR assay was used to investigate 131 purged dogs from Kazakhstan. Eighteen dogs harboured Echinococcus worms, ten of them in mixed infections with Taenia spp. Coproantigen detection was positive in 15 and taeniid eggs could be recovered from 13 of these specimens. Eight of the egg-containing samples were positive in the PCR for E. granulosus and four in a Echinococcus multilocularis -specific PCR revealing one mixed infection. Egg-containing faeces from two dogs harbouring both Taenia spp. and Echinococcus spp. were negative in both PCRs. The combination of egg isolation and PCR will also be of value in epidemiological studies when investigating environmental samples.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Echinococcus Echinococcus Granulosus Cystic Echinococcosis Echinococcus Multilocularis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We greatly acknowledge the financial support of INTAS (grant nos. 01 500 and 01 505) and of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SCOPES programme, grant no. 7KKPJO65622). This work represents the dissertation of S. Štefanić, veterinarian.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saša Štefanić
    • 1
  • Block S. Shaikenov
    • 2
  • Peter Deplazes
    • 1
  • Anke Dinkel
    • 3
  • Paul R. Torgerson
    • 1
  • Alexander Mathis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of ParasitologyUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of ZoologyKazakh Academy of SciencesAlmatyKazakhstan
  3. 3.Department of ParasitologyUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany

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