Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 617–621 | Cite as

First detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in Croatia

  • Relja BeckEmail author
  • Željko Mihaljević
  • Renata Brezak
  • Sanja Bosnić
  • Ivana Lohman Janković
  • Peter Deplazes
Short Communication


Echinococcus multilocularis has been spreading through Europe but has not yet been reported in Croatia. We report the results of a surveillance programme to detect E. multilocularis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in different parts of Croatia. PCR-based screening of faecal samples from 238 red foxes in 2015 and 150 in 2016 indicate prevalences of 7.5% in 2015 and 6.6% in 2016 (overall 7.2%, CI 4.9 to 10.3). Positive samples were confirmed by sequencing parts of the nad1 gene and the gene encoding mitochondrial 12S rRNA. Geographic locations of all examined and positive cases were mapped to provide data on the distribution of E. multilocularis. Our results provide the first detection of E. multilocularis in Croatia and extend the southern boundary of this parasite’s endemic area.


Echinococcus multilocularis Molecular survey Red foxes (Vulpes vulpesCroatia 


Funding information

This study was financed by the Croatian Veterinary and Food Administration and the Croatian Veterinary Institute.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Relja Beck
    • 1
    Email author
  • Željko Mihaljević
    • 2
  • Renata Brezak
    • 1
  • Sanja Bosnić
    • 1
  • Ivana Lohman Janković
    • 3
  • Peter Deplazes
    • 4
  1. 1.Department for Bacteriology and ParasitologyCroatian Veterinary Institute, ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Department for PathologyCroatian Veterinary InstituteZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Ministry of Agriculture - Directorate for Veterinary Medicine and Food SafetyZagrebCroatia
  4. 4.Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse FacultyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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