Alveolar echinococcosis in southern Belgium: retrospective experience of a tertiary center
Alveolar Echinococcosis (EA) is a zoonosis due to the larval stage of the fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocuris. Humans are dead-end hosts and are exposed through sylvatic (fox) or domestic (cat and dog) cycles. Infection is acquired through the fecal-oral route. The metacestodes of E. multilocularis proliferate in the liver, inducing a “tumor-like” lesion that can invade the neighboring organs or spread away from the primary lesion .
Until recently, Belgium was considered as a low-risk country for AE. However, in 2008, Hanosset et al. demonstrated by necropsies of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), a prevalence of AE at up to 60% in some parts of Wallonia, the Southern part of Belgium . The first indigenous Belgian human AE case was diagnosed in 1999 at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) of Liege, a tertiary university hospital in Wallonia . Since this first case, other patients have been diagnosed with EA and managed by the different departments of the CHU...
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Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
This study was approved by the university’s research ethics board.