The role of foxes Vulpes vulpes in the epidemiology of Echinococcus granulosus in urban environments

D. J. Jenkins, N. A. Craig

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To survey the prevalence of intestinal worms, particularly Echinococcus granulosus in foxes in Canberra. Design: The locations of foxes seen in Canberra during this study were recorded. Foxes and macropod marsupials killed on the roads of Canberra were collected and examined for the presence of intestinal helminths and hydatid cysts respectively. Method: The intestinal contents of the foxes were washed through a fine sieve and examined microscopically. All helminths recovered were collected and identified. All the internal organs of the macropods were examined for any cystic lesions. Results: Forty-five foxes and 44 macropods were examined. Echinococcus granulosus was found in three of the foxes (7%). Hydatid cysts were not found in the internal organs of any of the macropods examined. Conclusions: Echinococcus granulosus is present in the urban fox population of Canberra. This hitherto unreported aspect of the epidemiology of E granulosus in Australia could be a potential public health risk to urban populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-756
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 1992


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