a1 Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran
a2 Section of Parasitology, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim University, India
a3 Department of Parasitology, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran
Isolates of Echinococcus granulosus from the Indian buffalo and Iranian sheep, cattle and camels were characterized on the basis of rostellar hook morphology of the protoscolices. Results obtained indicated phenotypic polymorphism among parasites isolated from different host species. Isolates from buffalo are morphologically quite different from those of the more common sheep and cattle isolates and may represent a different strain, adapted to buffalo. In the Sari region of northern Iran, two morphologically distinct forms of E. granulosus, one in sheep and one in camels, were identified. Total length and handle length of both large and small hooks were considered the most variable characteristics which could be used not only for differentiating parasite isolates from different host species but also the origin of infection in the definitive host. We therefore suggest that larval hook morphology may be considered as a valid criterion for the identification of E. granulosus strains in Iran.
(Accepted August 02 2010)
(Online publication September 06 2010)