Investigate to intermediate hosts of Echinococcus multilocularis throughout Turkey: Focus on voles

Gürler A. T., Demirtaş S., Bölükbaş C. S., Gençay Topçu E. B., Barili O., Karaca E., ...More

ZOONOSES AND PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.70, no.4, pp.352-360, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/zph.13035
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.352-360
  • Keywords: alveolar echinococcosis, Echinococcus multilocularis, intermediate hosts, public health, Turkey, FOX VULPES-VULPES, ALVEOLAR, ECOLOGY
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Alveolar echinococcosis (AE), caused by Echinococcus multilocularis, is one of the most important zoonotic diseases. The parasite has a heterogeneous life cycle; more than 40 small mammal species have been determined to be potential intermediate hosts worldwide. Turkey is one of the highest endemic countries for AE, but only limited information is available concerning the transmission biology of E. multilocularis. The study aimed to provide data on potential intermediate host species (focus on genus Microtus) across Turkey involved in E. multilocularis transmission to foxes, which is a risk for public health. Trapping sites have been specially selected considering field voles' habitats and ecological requirements. In total, 843 rodents were collected from 141 locations. The metacestodes and lesions of AE were identified as macroscopy and microscopy and confirmed by PCR and DNA sequencing. Seventeen (2.0%) small mammals from 13 (9.2%) locations were found infected with E. multilocularis. Infected individuals were identified as Microtus irani, Microtus mystacinus, Microtus hartingi, Microtus guentheri, Cricetulus migratorius and Mus macedonicus. M. hartingi and M. macedonicus are documented for the first time as intermediate hosts of E. multilocularis. In conclusion, 15 of 17 infected small mammals were found in the Microtus genus. Therefore, the genus Microtus, which inhabits fields near villages and is potential prey for foxes, could be considered an important intermediate host for E. multilocularis across Turkey.