Echinococcus – Cyst
Submission and Collection Notes
Please note on the requisition (under other): If the patient has Eosinophilia, or a space-occupying lesion noted by imaging.
Indicate Country/Region and if the patient is a new immigrant or refugee or returned traveler under ‘Travel’ section of the requisition
- Echinococcus granulosus is widely distributed across Canada
- Echinococcus multilocularis has a more limited distribution: AB, MB, ON, SK, NWT
Storage and Transport
Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.
Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)
Echinococcus testing is performed Monday to Friday.
Turnaround time is up to 3 days from receipt by the PHO laboratory.
Definitive diagnosis is made by either detection of larval cestodes (protoscolices) or the hooklets thereof, from fluid collected (aspirated) from suspected cysts.
Serum should also be sent for echinococcal serology.
Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.
Distribution of organism species
- Echinococcus granulosus is widely distributed across Canada.
- Echinococcus multilocularis has a more limited distribution: AB, MB, SK, NWT.
Mode of transmission
Humans can be infected by consuming the infective eggs passed by the carnivore hosts of Echinococcus spp. For this reason, those who handle live carnivores, their feces, pelts or carcasses should wear gloves and use good hygiene to avoid contamination by tapeworm eggs.