Hydatid Cyst disease is among the commonly transmittable diseases to livestock and pets. It has a great threat to human beings. Since history begins, humans and animals are coexisting with each other in a relationship.
By Muhammad Waleed1, Zohaib Saeed1, Zain Arshad1, Rao Zahid Abbas1
Hydatid Cyst disease is among the commonly transmittable diseases to livestock and pets. It has a great threat to human beings. Since history begins, humans and animals are coexisting with each other in a relationship. This relationship is beneficial for both humans and animals. Humans take benefit from animals in terms of food, work, protection and companionship. Animals also get benefits by taking food and shelter from humans. These relationships are beneficial but may also become a source of transfer of diseases. Animals and humans have a common linkage in most of the diseases. Most of the pandemics in history are zoonotic, e.g. the Spanish flu in 118 and Plague caused by Mice. Even in this era and times of medical development, a lot of zoonotic diseases exist this time. Parasites have a large share in transferring zoonotic diseases. These Parasitic diseases may be among these issues is Echinococcosis, Hydatid cyst disease is present around the world. Cystic echinococcosis or Hydatid disease refers to cysts in the body of the animals.
Significance and prevalence:
These Parasitic diseases may be among these issues is Echinococcosis, present around the world. According to estimates 1 million people around the world remain carrying this disease condition at any moment. According to WHO, this disease condition is responsible for around 19,000 deaths per annum. Echinococcosis is a parasitic disease caused by Tapeworms of the genus Echinococcus. The parasites are of enormous significance in terms of Public health. There are 5 species of Echinococcus distributed around the world. The most important among them are i.e. E. granulosus and E. multilocularis. E. granulosus causes hydatid cyst disease. This is a cosmopolitan issue, present in all the continents except Antarctica. E. multilocularis causes alveolar echinococcosis in the animals. This disease is present in Northern Hemisphere, including China, Russia, and Japan.
This illness is present in two types of hosts, i.e. Definitive hosts are members of dog family. While the rest of the others are intermediate hosts that are mammals, including Humans and Sheep. Humans are accidental hosts of the disease, they get infected, but they cannot transfer of the disease. Most of the times, infection spreads because of the existence of a cycle between Dogs and Sheep. The organ contents of sheep are a source of transfer disease to dogs. The cycle continues when sheep eat the eggs of parasites present in feces of dogs.
A similar cycle occurs between dogs to horses and camels and vice versa. In wildlife, the cycle exists between wolves and deer. In some disease, transfer may exist cases between foxes and small rodents. Adult parasites are present in small intestine of Dogs but they cause no disease. These parasites reproduce and release eggs in feces. Intermediate hosts get infected by ingesting the eggs while foraging, drinking and grazing. So, the cycle remains similar whether it is in wild or in a household like Dog-Sheep cycle.
Pathology and Pathogenesis:
There are four forms of the disease, but the two of them are remarkable in terms of public health. These cysts exist Liver and Lungs but sometimes also infect bones, kidneys, CNS and spleen. Clinical signs appear when cysts continue to grow for a long time and finally starting to make changes in organs. It includes abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea in case of infection of Liver. When this disease affects lungs, then there is chronic cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Whereas another major form of disease is alveolar echinococcosis because of cycle between Foxes and Rodents. In this disease, there is a development of tumor-like growth formed slowly. These tumors like lesions can metastases to vital organs like liver, lungs and even brain in fatal cases. Clinically signs of the disease include general weight loss, malaise and even liver failure in severe cases.
Treatment and Control:
Disease is fatal if left untreated. Effective treatment depends on timely diagnosis, and effective diagnosis of both diseases is invariably by Ultrasonography. Treatment is the case of presence of cysts is the effective removal of cysts surgically. The disease is more common in rural areas in which there is close contact between animals and humans. Mostly in people involved in sheep raising herds. Veterinarians, Dog owners, Animal handlers are also at risk of disease. We need proper surveillance to prevent disease, and people need to have good hygiene. We have to minimize the contact with Dog’s fur. We have to guide the farmers to avoid grazing of animals on the vegetation contaminated with feces.
Echinococcosis is a major disease present in the world. This disease not only affects the animals of food and companionship, but it may also affect us. This disease is normally not fatal, but it may disturb us very much. We should adopt proper preventive measures to limit this disease.
Authors : Muhammad Waleed1, Zohaib Saeed1, Zain Arshad1, Rao Zahid Abbas1 Department of Parasitology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad