Volume 67, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Distinct Echinococcus granulosus life cycle patterns have been described in North America: domestic and sylvatic. Gene sequences of the sylvatic E. granulosus indicate that it represents a separate variant. Case-based data have suggested that the course of sylvatic disease is less severe than that of domestic disease, which led to the recommendation to treat cystic echinococcosis patients in the Arctic by careful medical management rather than by aggressive surgery. We recently reported the first two documented E. granulosus human cases in Alaska, with accompanying severe sequelae. Here we describe the results of molecular genetic analysis of the cyst material of one of the subjects that supported identification of the parasite as the sylvatic (cervid) strain and not the domestic (common sheep strain), which was initially thought to be implicated in these unusually severe Alaskan cases.


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