Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a zoonotic parasitic disease endemic in southern and eastern European countries. The true prevalence of CE is difficult to estimate due to the high proportion of asymptomatic carriers who never seek medical attention and to the underreporting of diagnosed cases, factors which contribute to its neglected status. In an attempt to improve this situation, the European Register of Cystic Echinococcosis (ERCE), was launched in October 2014 in the context of the HERACLES project. ERCE is a prospective, observational, multicentre register of patients with probable or confirmed CE. The first ERCE meeting was held in November 2015 at the Italian National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanita, ISS) in Rome, to bring together CE experts currently involved in the Register activities, to share and discuss experiences, and future developments.Although the Register is still in its infancy, data collected at the time of writing this report, had outnumbered the total of national cases reported by the European endemic countries and published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in 2015. This confirms the need for an improved reporting system of CE at the European level. The collection of standardized clinical data and samples is expected to support a more rational, stage-specific approach to clinical management, and to help public authorities harmonize reporting of CE. A better understanding of CE burden in Europe will encourage the planning and implementation of public health policies toward its control.
Keywords: Case series; Clinical management; Cystic echinococcosis; European Register; Public health awareness; Surveillance.