A Pilot Study for Control of Hyperendemic Cystic Hydatid Disease in China
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Background: Cystic hydatid disease (CHD) is a global parasitic zoonosis caused by the dog tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus. The disease is hyperendemic in western China because of poor economic development; limited community knowledge of CHD; widespread, small-scale household animal production; home killing of livestock; and the feeding of dogs with uncooked offal. Methodology/Principal Findings: A control program focusing on monthly praziquantel (PZQ) treatment of all registered dogs and culling unwanted and stray dogs has been designed to control CHD in hyperendemic areas in China. A pilot field control project in two counties (Hutubi and Wensu) in Xinjiang, China showed that after 4 years of treatment, the prevalence of dogs with E. granulosus was reduced from 14.7% and 18.6%, respectively, to 0%, and this caused a 90%-100% decrease of CHD in sheep born after commencement of the control program. Conclusions/Significance: The strategy aimed at preventing eggs being released from dogs into the environment by treating animals before adult tapeworms are patent can decrease E. granulosus transmission and considerably reduce hyperendemic CHD. Monthly treatment of dogs with PZQ and culling unwanted and stray dogs have been shown to be an efficient, highly cost-effective and practicable measure for implementation in rural communities. As a result, the Chinese Ministry of Health has launched an extensive CHD control program in 117 counties in western China using this control strategy.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Copyright 2009 McManus et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CCAL. (http://www.plos.org/journals/license.html)