Volume 99, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a globally endemic zoonosis caused by the larval stage of the sensu lato (s.l.) complex. Although the disease is known to be highly prevalent in certain parts of North and East Africa, data on CE, both in humans and definitive hosts, are extremely scarce for Central Africa. The present study assessed the epidemiology of CE in humans and dogs in rural Gabon. An ultrasound and serologic survey was conducted in volunteers from rural villages in Gabon. A two-step approach was used for serological testing with an indirect hemagglutination assay as a screening test and Western Blot as a confirmatory test. Fecal dog samples were analyzed microscopically, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of and genes was performed when taeniid eggs were visible. Regional hospitals and the national reference center for parasitology in Gabon were contacted for information about previous cases of CE. Randomly selected communities were invited to participate. Three hundred and forty-eight human volunteers from these communities were screened. No suspected cases of CE were detected. Definitive host screening was performed from 128 fecal samples from representative subregions, but no eggs from s.l. were found. No documented cases of echinococcosis were reported from the local health-care institutions and the national diagnostic reference center in Gabon. Cystic echinococcosis seems to be very rare or absent in Gabon. The reason for this lack of evidence for echinococcosis is unknown, but the absence of livestock may play a major role.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Wahlers K, Menezes CN, Wong ML, Zeyhle E, Ahmed ME, Ocaido M, Stijnis C, Romig T, Kern P, Grobusch MP, , 2012. Cystic echinococcosis in sub-Saharan Africa. Lancet Infect Dis 12: 871880. [Google Scholar]
  2. Romig T, 2011. Echinococcosis in sub-Saharan Africa: emerging complexity. Vet Parasitol 181: 4347. [Google Scholar]
  3. Deplazes P, 2017. Global distribution of alveolar and cystic echinococcosis. Adv Parasitol 95: 315493. [Google Scholar]
  4. Buishi I, Njoroge E, Zeyhle E, Rogan M, Craig P, , 2006. Canine echinococcosis in Turkana (north–western Kenya): a coproantigen survey in the previous hydatid-control area and an analysis of risk factors. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 100: 601610. [Google Scholar]
  5. Buishi IE, Njoroge EM, Bouamra O, Craig PS, , 2005. Canine echinococcosis in northwest Libya: assessment of coproantigen ELISA, and a survey of infection with analysis of risk-factors. Vet Parasitol 130: 223232. [Google Scholar]
  6. Macpherson CN, French CM, Stevenson P, Karstad L, Arundel JH, , 1985. Hydatid disease in the Turkana District of Kenya, IV. The prevalence of Echinococcus granulosus infections in dogs, and observations on the role of the dog in the lifestyle of the Turkana. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 79: 5161. [Google Scholar]
  7. Normand T, Bourry O, Dang H, Leroy E, Bourdoiseau G, Davoust B, , 2006. Enquête sur le parasitisme digestif des chiens dans une zone rurale du Gabon. Bull. Acad. Vét. France 159: 5968. [Google Scholar]
  8. Beugnet F, Edderai D, , 1998. Epidemiological survey on digestive and blood helminths of dogs in Libreville, Gabon. Rev Med Vet (Toulouse) 149: 327330. [Google Scholar]
  9. Sixl W, Rosegger H, Schneeweiss H, Withalm H, Schuhmann G, , 1987. Serological investigations in Nigeria for anthropozoonoses in human sera: brucellosis, echinococcosis, toxoplasmosis, chlamydial diseases, listeriosis, rickettsiosis (Coxiella burneti and Rickettsia conori). J Hyg Epidemiol Microbiol Immunol 31 (4 Suppl): 493495. [Google Scholar]
  10. Dada BJ, , 1980. Taeniasis, cysticercosis and echinococcosis/hydatidosis in Nigeria: I—prevalence of human taeniasis, cysticercosis and hydatidosis based on a retrospective analysis of hospital records. J Helminthol 54: 281286. [Google Scholar]
  11. Develoux M, Enache-Angoulvant A, Gounant V, Brian E, Khalil A, Bazelly B, Hennequin C, , 2011. Hepatic and pulmonary cystic echinococcosis in a patient from the Central African Republic. Travel Med Infect Dis 9: 8890. [Google Scholar]
  12. Firmin AA, Bernadette NN, Catherine M, Roger D, Eric T, Oudou N, Claude NNE, McManus DP, Eimo M, , 2013. Intracystic bleeding of a solitary hydatid cyst: a rare complication of a rare disease in central Africa. A case report. Case Rep Clin Med 2: 163. [Google Scholar]
  13. Angheben A, Mariconti M, Degani M, Gobbo M, Palvarini L, Gobbi F, Brunetti E, Tamarozzi F, , 2017. Is there echinococcosis in West Africa? A refugee from Niger with a liver cyst. Parasit Vectors 10: 232. [Google Scholar]
  14. De Meulemeester J, Dardenne G, , 1958. Hydatid cyst of the liver in a European living in the Belgian Congo. Acta Chir Belg 57:283295. [Google Scholar]
  15. Ramharter M, 2007. History and perspectives of medical research at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. Wien Klin Wochenschr 119 (19–20 Suppl 3): 812. [Google Scholar]
  16. The World Factbook—Central Intelligence Agency. Gabon. Available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gb.html. Accessed November 28, 2017.
  17. Manego RZ, 2017. Demography, maternal health and the epidemiology of malaria and other major infectious diseases in the rural department Tsamba-Magotsi, Ngounie Province, in central African Gabon. BMC Public Health 17: 130. [Google Scholar]
  18. Lötsch F, Obermüller M, Mischlinger J, Mombo-Ngoma G, Groger M, Adegnika AA, Agnandji ST, Schneider R, Auer H, Ramharter M, , 2016. Seroprevalence of Toxocara spp. in a rural population in central African Gabon. Parasitol Int 65: 632634. [Google Scholar]
  19. Adegnika AA, Ramharter M, Agnandji ST, Ateba Ngoa U, Issifou S, Yazdanbahksh M, Kremsner PG, , 2010. Epidemiology of parasitic co-infections during pregnancy in Lambaréné, Gabon. Trop Med Int Health 15: 12041209. [Google Scholar]
  20. Brunetti E, Kern P, Vuitton DA, Writing Panel for the WHO-IWGE; , 2010. Expert consensus for the diagnosis and treatment of cystic and alveolar echinococcosis in humans. Acta Trop 114: 116. [Google Scholar]
  21. Wassermann M, Aschenborn O, Aschenborn J, Mackenstedt U, Romig T, , 2015. A sylvatic lifecycle of Echinococcus equinus in the Etosha National Park, Namibia. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl 4: 97103. [Google Scholar]
  22. Mathis A, Deplazes P, Eckert J, , 1996. An improved test system for PCR-based specific detection of Echinococcus multilocularis eggs. J Helminthol 70: 219222. [Google Scholar]
  23. Hüttner M, Nakao M, Wassermann T, Siefert L, Boomker JDF, Dinkel A, Sako Y, Mackenstedt U, Romig T, Ito A, , 2008. Genetic characterization and phylogenetic position of Echinococcus felidis (Cestoda: Taeniidae) from the African lion. Int J Parasitol 38: 861868. [Google Scholar]
  24. Echinococcosis–Epidemiology, World Health Organization. Available at: http://www.who.int/echinococcosis/epidemiology/en/. Accessed March 12, 2018.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 07 Dec 2017
  • Accepted : 11 Feb 2018
  • Published online : 21 May 2018

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error