Human, canine and ovine echinococcosis prevalence was determined in a highland community located in the central Peruvian Andes during 1997 and 1998. Human echinococcosis was determined using portable ultrasonography, chest X-ray examination, and an enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB) assay. Canine echinococcosis was determined using microscopy stool examinations and a coproantigen detection enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) for Echinococcus granulosus. Ovine echinococcosis was determined by an EITB assay for sheep echinococcosis and necropsy examination of viscera from domestic slaughtered animals. An abdominal ultrasound, a chest X-ray examination and an EITB for echinococcosis were performed on 214 subjects (45% of the village population). The frequency of presumptive liver/abdominal, lung and liver-lung hydatid cysts was 5.1% (11/214), 3.7% (8/214) and 0.5% (1/214), respectively. The overall prevalence of human cystic echinococcosis was 9.3% (20/214). The frequency of canine echinococcosis was 46% (23/50) and 32% (16/50) by the coproantigen EIA test and arecoline purging, respectively. The frequency of sheep echinococcosis was 65% (22/34) by the EITB and 38% (13/34) by necropsy. We demonstrated a high prevalence of human and animal echinococcosis in this Peruvian village. In remote areas where echinococcosis is endemic, both the coproantigen EIA and arecoline purging may be used for the study of canine echinococcosis; the EITB is useful in establishing the diagnosis of echinococcosis in sheep prior to necropsy.
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