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Aetiology: parasites and life-cycles

Thompson, R.C.A. and McManus, D. (2001) Aetiology: parasites and life-cycles. In: Eckert, J., Gemmel, M.A., Meslin, F-X and Pawłowski, Z.S., (eds.) WHO/OIE Manual on Echinococcosis in Human and Animals: a Public Health Problem of Global Concern. World Organization for Animal Health, Paris, France, pp. 1-19.

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The control of any infectious agent requires a sound knowledge of the taxonomy and transmission cycles which perpetuate the agent in nature. This is essential for surveillance and predictive epidemiology, and in determining the aetiology and appropriate treatment regimes in cases of disease. In this chapter, the biology of the causative agents of various forms of echinococcosis are described and details provided of the major cycles of transmission which are known to maintain the parasites in different geographic areas. Emphasis is given to the extent and nature of variability within the genus Echinococcus which reflects considerable inter- and intraspecific heterogeneity which has a profound influence on the epidemiology of echinococcosis. The identification of species and strains within the genus is an essential prerequisite to the establishment of local control programmes and appropriate molecular biological tools are now available for this.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: World Organization for Animal Health
Copyright: © World Organisation for Animal Health & World Health Organization
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