© V. Lambert, Arhangay, Mongolia
Echinococcosis: a parasitic disease that occurs in two main forms in humans: cystic echinococcosis and alveolar echinococcosis

Echinococcosis is a parasitic disease that occurs in two main forms in humans: cystic echinococcosis (also known as hydatidosis) and alveolar echinococcosis, caused by the tapeworms Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, respectively.

Dogs, foxes and other carnivores harbour the adult worms in their intestine and pass the parasite eggs in their faeces. If the eggs are ingested by humans, they develop into larvae in several organs, more frequently the liver and lungs. Both cystic and alveolar echinococcosis are characterized by asymptomatic incubation periods that can last many years until the parasites grow to an extent that triggers clinical signs.

fact buffet


> 1 millionpeople worldwide are affected with echinococcosis at any one time

Second WHO report on NTDs
Chapter 3.12, page 81


Highrisk of contracting echinococcosis in rural areas in endemic countries

Global distribution of cystic echinococcosis, 2011


US$ 3 billionAnnual cost for treating cases and livestock industry compensation

Second WHO report on NTDs
Chapter 3.12

Fact Sheet


N°377, updated March 2013

NTD Roadmap

Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases - A roadmap for implementation

Data and Maps

Echinococcosis in the news

15 January 2014 | Geneva
Report of the WHO Informal Working Group on Echinococcosis on the occasion of the XXV World Congress of Echinococcosis held in Khartoum, Sudan, 25 November 2013

5 September 2012 | Geneva
Italy provides funding to support cystic echinococcosis projects in Morocco and Tunisia