Prevalence and risk Factors for echinococcal infection in a rural area of northern Chile: A household-based cross-sectional study







Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Public Library of Medical Science


Hydatidosis is a hyperendemic zoonotic disease in Chile caused by the dog tapeworm, Echinococcus granulosus. In Chile as in many other countries in South America, this disease has been largely neglected with few exceptions. Chile’s growing economy and the interest of health authorities has lead to an increase in the number of studies investigating the epidemiology of echinococcosis and the factors related to infections of the main definitive host, the domestic dog and humans. In this study, we determined the prevalence of human and canine echinococcosis as well as the associated risk factors in a rural area of the Limarı´ province in northern Chile. We undertook a household questionnaire survey in rural areas of the five municipalities of the Limarı´ province in Coquimbo region. For each household serum of an adult family member and fecal samples from a dog were taken. Results of our study indicate that infection occurs in 2.6% of humans and 28% of dogs and is primarily due to feeding of dogs with contaminated offal and high dog-human contact. As a result of this study, the Chilean Ministry of Health instigated a control program aimed to control the infection in dogs and avoid new infections to humans.



PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, August 2014, vol. 8, n°8, p. e3090.


Echinococcus granulosus, Hydatidosis, Chile