Prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes in Groningen and Drenthe
Bosch, J.P. van den
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The prevalence of the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe was determined. The eastern part of the province of Groningen was identified to be endemic for the parasite in previous studies in 1997 and 2000. The prevalence was estimated at 2.1% (95% CI 0.6-7.4%; 2/95 examined). This prevalence was lower than the results of the previous study, where a baseline prevalence of 9.4% (95% CI 5.2-16.5%) was found. In the current study, both positive foxes were hunted in the previous described endemic area, studied in 1998-2000. The prevalence in this restricted study area was estimated at 5.9% (95% CI 1.6-19.1%; 2/34 examined). The results suggest that the E. multilocularis has spread only little, however, other studies suggests that the parasite has spread more drastically. Studies in Belgium and Germany also suggest that the parasite is still spreading. This emphasizes that importance of monitoring because of the public health risk of the parasite.