Erroneous reports of the neotropical Echinococcus oligarthrus as a cause of echinococcosis in India

J Parasitol. 2004 Feb;90(1):202-3. doi: 10.1645/GE-3207CC.


Two cases of submandibular echinococcosis have been reported in adult residents of India (Kini et al., 1997; Sahni et al., 2000). It was stated in both publications that the cestode was E. oligarthrus, "a rare variety of E. granulosus", based on morphogical characteristics. It was also mentioned that 3 cases of E. granulosus with similar submandibular metacestode had been previously diagnosed in India. The metacestode is readily distinguishable from that of E. oligarthrus. The final hosts of E. oligarthrus are several neotropical species of wild cats and metacestode occurs in hystricognath, all of them absent in India. The larval stage of all 4 species of Echinococcus can be differentiated on the basis of the form and dimensions of rostellar hooks of protoescoleces. With the information provided in the two papers we concluded that the 2 cases of echinococcosis described in India were due to E. granulosus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Echinococcosis / parasitology*
  • Echinococcus / anatomy & histology
  • Echinococcus / classification*
  • Echinococcus / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • India
  • Submandibular Gland Diseases / parasitology*