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Parliamentary questions
21 April 2008
Answer given by Ms Vassiliou on behalf of the Commission

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)(1) in 2005 320 cases of echinococcosis have been reported in humans in the EU in 2005. The incidence has been lower than 0.01 per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to the opinion of the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) and of the Scientific Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) on Review of the Community Summary Report on Trends and Sources of Zoonoses, Zoonotic Agents and Antimicrobial Resistance in the European Union in 2004(2), EFSA considers Echinococcus multilocularis to be an emerging zoonotic risk in the Community. The same report concludes that Echinococcus granulosus still causes the majority of human cases of echinococcosis in the Community, and the number of cases has not decreased in 2004, as is suggested by the numbers recorded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

In 2006, the incidence of echinococcosis in humans ranged from <0.1 to 7.0/100 000 population. The highest incidence was reported in Bulgaria (7.0) with 543 confirmed cases. Other higher incidence countries were Latvia (22 cases), Germany (124 cases), Poland (65 cases) and Spain (98 cases).

The estimation of risk and number of echinococcosis incidences in dogs are impaired by the absence of reliable data. The EFSA report(3) indicates that France in 2006 has detected E.multilocularis in four out of 420 dogs.

The cycle of echinococcosis is largely dependant on wild uncontrolled final hosts such as foxes, and human cases are due to accidental ingestion of embrionated eggs. For this reason the prevalence in dogs may be misleading in drawing conclusions.


OJ C 291, 13/11/2008
Last updated: 21 May 2008Legal notice