Cystic Echinococcosis in Northern Cyprus: A Literature Review


  • Emrah Ruh
  • Ayşegül Taylan Özkan

Received Date: 05.09.2018 Accepted Date: 13.11.2018 Cyprus J Med Sci 2018;3(3):193-196

Cystic echinococcosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the larval stages of Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.). The life cycle of the parasite consists of dogs and other canids as the definitive hosts and ungulates, such as sheep and goats, as the intermediate hosts. Humans are accidental intermediate hosts in the life cycle of the parasite. The island of Cyprus is located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region where echinococcosis is endemic. The disease was common in the island until the 1970s. In Southern Cyprus, two control programs for echinococcosis were implemented; the first one was initiated in 1971 and continued until 1985, and the second one was introduced in 1993 and implemented for 5 years. The control programs resulted in a decrease of the prevalence in both dogs and livestock. In Northern Cyprus, a control program was implemented between 1997 and 2005 that also resulted in a decrease of the disease rates in definitive and intermediate hosts. However, termination of the program led to an increase in the prevalence. Recent data suggest that sporadic cases of echinococcosis still exist; therefore, control programs should be continued in order to prevent the disease in Northern Cyprus.

Keywords: Cystic echinococcosis, Echinococcus granulosus, prevalence, Northern Cyprus