Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Echinococcus equinus in a Horse: A Risk with Raw-fed Dogs? (2016)

    Merz, S (WE 12)
    Erickson, NA (WE 12)
    Krücken, J (WE 13)
    Gruber, A.D. (WE 12)
    34th ESVP Meeting of the European Society of Veterinary Pathology - 27th ECVP Meeting of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists
    Bologna, Italien, 07. – 10.09.2016
    Journal of Comparative Pathology; 156(1) — S. 97
    ISSN: 0021-9975
    URL (Volltext): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021997516303231
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2016.11.134
    Institut für Tierpathologie

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 15
    Gebäude 12
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Introduction: Echinococcus (E.) equinus is a cestode with a 2-host life cycle, with carnivores as definitive
    hosts, shedding eggs with the feces, and equines as intermediate hosts with hydatid cysts
    forming mainly in the liver and lung.
    Materials and Methods: A 17-year old Connemara horse with an oromaxillary sinus fistula and
    chronic colitis was euthanized with poor prognosis. The horse had a history of long-term corticosteroid-
    therapy. Necropsy identified several well-demarcated, grey-white cysts of up to 5 cm in
    diameter in the liver parenchyma, filled with clear, amber-colored liquid containing particles of less
    than 1 mm in diameter (hydatid sand). These cysts were further investigated by histopathology and
    polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
    Results: At necropsy, additional smaller cysts of up to 1 cm in diameter were visible in the liver
    and also in the lung. Histopathology revealed a tri-layered appearance of the cysts with an outer
    connective tissue capsule followed by a PAS-positive, hyaline acellular layer and an inner germinal
    membrane. The cysts contained few free protoscolices indicating the presence of Echinococcus
    spp. PCR product sequencing revealed complete identity with E. equinus 12S rRNA and Cytochromoxidase
    Conclusion: The present case indicates that although E. equinus infections are still considered rare,
    they have emerged to our previously unaffected latitude. They pose a potential risk with dogs being
    fed with raw horse-meat or –liver in terms of the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods)-diet
    which has gained increasing popularity. These dogs may potentially become reservoirs for E. equinus,
    a risk which should be considered.