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a genus of small tapeworms.
Echinococcus granulo´sus a species parasitic in dogs and wolves and occasionally in cats; its larvae may develop in nearly all mammals, forming hydatid cysts in the liver, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. It reverses the usual process of development in human and animal hosts: the adult is found in the intestine of dogs, whereas the larva develops in the human intestine, penetrates the intestinal wall, and settles in various organs, most often the liver, where it forms a cyst (hydatid cyst) that grows slowly. Treatment is by surgical removal of the cyst. This type of worm infection is fortunately not common in the United States.
Echinococcus multilocula´ris a species whose adult forms usually parasitize the fox and wild rodents, although humans are sporadically infected. It resembles E. granulosus, but the larvae form alveolar or multilocular rather than unilocular cysts.
hydatid tapeworm, a species in which adults infect canids and the larval form (osseous and unilocular hydatid cysts) infects sheep and other ruminants, pigs, and horses; may also occur in humans, giving rise to a large cyst in the liver or other organs and tissues.
A species that infests dogs and other carnivores. Its hydatid (larva) develops in other mammals, including humans, and causes the formation of hydatid cysts in the liver or lungs. Synonym: dog tapewormSee: illustration; hydatid
See also: Echinococcus