One hundred and six dogs (61 males and 45 females) were examined for Echinococcus granulosus infection in a farming cooperative in the central highlands of Peru during November 1998. Canine echinococcosis was diagnosed using direct microscopic examinations of purged feces following arecoline purging and a coproantigen-detection enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for E. granulosus. Mean age was 2 years with a range of 3 months to 9 years. The overall prevalence of canine echinococcosis using the ELISA test was 79% (84/106). Seventy-four dogs were successfully purged with arecoline. The frequency of canine echinococcosis was 82 (61/74) and 34% (25/74) by the coproantigen ELISA test and arecoline purging, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the coproantigen ELISA test was 88 and 95%, respectively. We found this assay to be especially advantageous in remote geographical areas. In future control programs against echinococcosis in Peru and other areas where E. granulosus is endemic the coproantigen ELISA should be used for the surveillance of the dog population.
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