Skip to main content
hpa logo
Topics A-Z:
Search the site:
Home Topics Infectious Diseases Infections A-Z Hydatid disease (Echinococcosis)

Hydatid disease (Echinococcosis)

collie, sheep

Hydatid disease is caused by infection with the larval stage of the dog tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus, acquired by ingestion of tapeworm eggs. It is maintained via a sheep to dog cycle in which, occasionally, humans (rather than sheep) are infected by eggs excreted in the faeces of infected dogs.

 

In the UK, hydatid disease is found mainly in the sheep farming areas of Herefordshire, mid-Wales, and the Western Isles of Scotland.