Glossary 

Accidental hosts - hosts in which the parasite cannot complete its development; a dead end host in which it cannot continue its life cycle.

 

Albendazole - an antiparasitic drug used to treat infections caused by some parasites, including alveolar echinococcosis.

Note: This drug is only active against liver infections caused by E. multilocularis. It is not effective against the adult stage of Echinococcus multilocularis that occurs in the small intestine of dogs.

 

Alveolar Echinococcosis - disease caused by infection with Echinococcus multilocularis.  Typically, this is due to damage to the liver and can be fatal if left untreated.

 

Canids (Canidae) - carnivorous animals in the ‘dog family.’ This includes domestic dogs, foxes, coyotes, etc.

 

Definitive Hosts - animals in which the adult stage of the parasite develops.

 

Diagnostic Imaging – the process of creating visual representations of inside the body for analysis and diagnosis.

 

Echinococcus multilocularis (a.k.a. fox tapeworm, k9 tapeworm) - a small, highly zoonotic, tapeworm with a high case fatality rate in people and domestic dogs when liver infections are left untreated.

 

Histopathology - microscopic examination of a biopsy (piece of tissue) by a pathologist to assist in, or make, a diagnosis.

 

Intermediate Hosts - animals that harbour the intermediate stage of a parasite.

 

Life Cycle - series of developmental changes in the life of a parasite.

 

Mebendazole - an antiparasitic drug used to treat infections caused by some parasites, including alveolar echinococcosis (Human use only).

 

Metacestode stage – the larval stage of a tapeworm.

 

Praziquantel - a drug effective against the adult stage of Echinococcus multilocularis that occurs in the small intestine of dogs.

Note: This drug is not effective against alveolar hydatid cysts, i.e. the stage that occurs in the liver of dogs (see albendazole/mebendazole).

 

Serology (blood test) - scientific analysis of the blood to assist with, or make, a diagnosis.

 

Surveillance - Public health surveillance is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice. Such surveillance can:

  • serve as an early warning system for impending public health emergencies;

  • document the impact of an intervention, or track progress towards specified goals; and

  • monitor and clarify the epidemiology of health problems, to allow priorities to be set and to inform public health policy and strategies.

(World Health Organization)

 

Zoonotic - infection that can spread between animals and people

Reviewed 05/12/16

Reviewed 09/09/19

© 2018-2019 by Dr. Jonathon D. Kotwa | PhD | Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph.

The content of this website is intended to offer general information about Echinococcus multilocularis in Ontario. It is not intended to substitute the knowledge provided by health-care professionals. None of the information contained in this web site is intended to be used for decisions on diagnosis or treatment.