Molecular and morphological characterization of Echinococcus granulosus of human and animal origin in Iran

M.  FASIHI HARANDI  a1 , R. P.  HOBBS  a2 , P. J.  ADAMS  a2 , I.  MOBEDI  a3 , U. M.  MORGAN-RYAN  a2 and R. C. A.  THOMPSON  a2 c1
a1 Department of Parasitology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
a2 WHO Collaborating Centre for the Molecular Epidemiology of Parasitic Infections and State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre, Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150, Australia
a3 Department of Parasitology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, 14155-6446, Iran

Article author query
fasihi harandi m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hobbs r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
adams p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mobedi i   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
morgan-ryan u   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
thompson r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Iran is an important endemic focus of cystic hydatid disease (CHD) where several species of intermediate host are commonly infected with Echinococcus granulosus. Isolates of E. granulosus were collected from humans and other animals from different geographical areas of Iran and characterized using both DNA (PCR-RFLP of ITS1) and morphological criteria (metacestode rostellar hook dimensions). The sheep and camel strains/genotypes were shown to occur in Iran. The sheep strain was shown to be the most common genotype of E. granulosus affecting sheep, cattle, goats and occasionally camels. The majority of camels were infected with the camel genotype as were 3 of 33 human cases. This is the first time that cases of CHD in humans have been identified in an area where a transmission cycle for the camel genotype exists. In addition, the camel genotype was found to cause infection in both sheep and cattle. Results also demonstrated that both sheep and camel strains can be readily differentiated on the basis of hook morphology alone.

(Received March 18 2002)
(Revised May 13 2002)
(Accepted May 13 2002)

Key Words: Echinococcus granulosus; cystic hydatid disease; Iran; strains; genotypes; morphology; molecular characterization.

c1 Corresponding author: Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, Western Australia. Tel: +61 08 9360 2466. Fax: +61 08 9310 4144. E-mail: