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High variability in the number of E. multilocularis eggs in cat feces collected in the field

Abstract : Echinococcus multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis that is considered as the most severe parasitic disease in Europe. The contribution of cat to environmental contamination by E. multilocularis is generally considered as extremely low based on results of experimental infections and worm burden estimations from natural infections. However, the recent collection of numerous cat feces from kitchen gardens in high endemic areas and the detection of E. multilocularis DNA in a significant number of these feces raise the question of the risk of human transmission from cats. This study aimed to provide a quantitative estimation of E. multilocularis eggs in feces from naturally infected cats. A field sampling conducted in 192 kitchen gardens during a joint study led to the collection and analysis of 597 cat feces, among them 7 (1.2%) yielded positive results for E. multilocularis real-time PCR. The entire pellets obtained after homogenization, filtration and centrifugation of a 5 g-sample for each of these 7 feces were examined under a stereoscopic microscope. After assessing their number, 20 taeniid eggs were individually isolated and specifically identified by real-time PCR. Morphologically mature E. multilocularis eggs were identified in 4 samples and the counting of 4 to 43 E. multilocularis eggs per gram in these samples, i.e. 62 to 2331 eggs per feces when the total mass of the feces is considered. The number of eggs counted in 2 feces suggests a biotic potential of some naturally infected cats that largely exceed the previous experimental estimations.
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https://hal-anses.archives-ouvertes.fr/anses-03648966
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Submitted on : Friday, April 22, 2022 - 10:08:53 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 11:40:02 AM

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Gérald Umhang, Matthieu Bastien, Vanessa Bastid, Marie-Lazarine Poulle, Franck Boué. High variability in the number of E. multilocularis eggs in cat feces collected in the field. Parasitology International, Elsevier, 2022, 89, pp.102583. ⟨10.1016/j.parint.2022.102583⟩. ⟨anses-03648966⟩

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