Control of Echinococcus granulosus in Uruguay: evaluation of different treatment intervals for dogs

Vet Parasitol. 2002 Feb 4;103(4):333-40. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4017(01)00603-3.


This study attempted control of transmission of Echinococcus granulosus from dogs to sheep in different areas in the Department of Florida, Uruguay, by treating dogs with praziquantel at intervals of 6, 12 and 16 weeks. The 6-week interval was based on the prepatent period of infection with E. granulosus, the 12- and 16-week intervals were based on the rate of reinfection with tapeworms in dogs in the area. Dogs had become reinfected with E. granulosus between 2 and 4 months after treatment, whereas they became reinfected with the Taenia spp. tapeworms within 2 months of treatment. One year after the start of treatments sentinel lambs were born and grazed the farms in the three treatment areas. Approximately, 15 months later when the sentinel lambs were killed and examined for parasites the six weekly treatments had stopped the transmission of E. granulosus to the sentinel lambs. Treatment of dogs at 12- and 16-week intervals failed to stop transmission of E. granulosus but both the numbers of farms and the numbers of sheep infected with E. granulosus were lower where dogs received 12 weekly treatments compared with dogs receiving 16 weekly treatments and a fourth area where dogs had received no treatments (chi(2)P=0.002). Lambs continued to become infected with the Taenia spp. tapeworms in all the areas. Control was complicated by large changes in the dog population. From a starting population of 1164 dogs in the three treated areas, 832 new dogs, most of these adult hunting dogs, entered the population and 793 dogs were lost from the population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use*
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dog Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dog Diseases / transmission
  • Dogs
  • Echinococcosis / drug therapy
  • Echinococcosis / transmission
  • Echinococcosis / veterinary*
  • Echinococcus / drug effects
  • Echinococcus / growth & development
  • Praziquantel / therapeutic use*
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Sheep Diseases / transmission
  • Time Factors
  • Uruguay


  • Anthelmintics
  • Praziquantel