Echinococcosis | Overview


What is echinococcosis?

Echinococcosis (say: eh-kinno-cock-ko-sis) is an infection caused by eating food or water that is contaminated with the eggs of the Echinococcus worm. This worm is a microscopic tapeworm that is often found in dogs and common livestock, especially sheep.

Although infection in humans is rare, it can be serious. After the tapeworm egg is eaten, it settles in the organs (such as the lungs, brain and liver) and can cause large cysts to form.

If left untreated, you could die from this infection. Echinococcosis is also called hydatid disease.


Echinococcosis--An Emerging Parasite in the Immigrant Population by M Chrieki, M.D. (American Family Physician September 01, 2002,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 04/03