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Ron de Burger Student Award 2017 - E Denstedt

Echinococcus multilocularis as an emerging public health threat in Canada: A knowledge synthesis and needs assessment

E Denstedt
University of Guelph – Master of Public Health

  • Echinococcus multilocularis is a potentially emerging public health threat in Canada
  • E. multilocularis is a zoonotic tapeworm previously identified as endemic in the Northern Tundra Zone and southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
  • Multiple domestic dogs were recently discovered to be infected in Ontario, the first ever documentation of this parasite as endemic in the province
  • E. multilocularis in people can be severe, and locally-acquired cases in humans have been reported very rarely in Canada
  • E. multilocularis was likely introduced into new Canadian regions via canine importation
  • With urban wildlife changes, new environments in Canada may now be contaminated with the tapeworm
  • Human cases may be underreported or going unrecognized
  • The results of this review highlight the need for additional research on the parasite’s geographic distribution in wildlife, policy changes for canine importation, and increased surveillance in the human population