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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


PURICELLI, Valeria I.; CARRIZO, Silvia; PERALTA, Adrián A.  and  SANTILLAN, Graciela. Circulation of Echinococcus granulosus in Los Antiguos, Santa Cruz. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2021, vol.81, n.2, pp.166-172. ISSN 0025-7680.

Hydatidosis − caused by the parasite Echinococcus granulosus − is a zoonosis endemic to the province of Santa Cruz, associated with areas of livestock production. Once infected, man may remain asymptomatic for a prolonged pe riod but the disease has an important impact on public health owing to the complexity and costs of its treatment. This study aimed at assessing the prevalence of environmental E. granulosus infection in rural and peri-urban areas of the town of Los Antiguos, through the detection of antigens in scattered canine feces, and to identify risk factors for transmission. From May-2016 to April-2017, 38 peri-urban and rural farms, defined as “epidemio logical units”, were visited; 144 samples of canine feces were analyzed with the copro-ELISA technique. Rural settlers were enrolled in an epidemiological survey on cultural patterns related to hydatidosis. An environmental contamination index of 17.3% was found and 44.7% of the epidemiological units were positive. Risk practices were found, such as domiciliary slaughter (34.2%), canine feeding with raw viscera (52.6%), and lack of dog de worming (86.8%). In turn, about half of the surveyed population ignored the modes of transmission of the infection and the measures to prevent it. This work shows a high infection index in the area and establishes a baseline for future comparisons. It also reinforces the need to implement education, prevention, and control activities at the local level − according to national program guidelines − in order to reduce the prevalence of environmental contamination of the disease.

Keywords : Echinococcus granulosus; Coproantigen; Epidemiology; Zoonosis.

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