Sample sent to Hospital for Tropical Diseases (PHE National Parasitology Reference Lab) referral laboratory to test for antibodies to echinococcus using an ELISA. This assay is available routinely Mon to Fri.
Human echinococcus occurs after ingestion of eggs excreted from the definitive host (typically dogs). A travel history is necessary to establish if the patient has been at risk of exposure. Following ingestion, echinococcus can lead to the formation of hydatid cysts. The most common site for cysts is the liver, but cysts have also been described in most other body sites. Cyst rupture, including at time of surgical removal, can result in a hypersensitivity reaction leading to anaphylaxis.