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In vitro viability test for the eggs of Echinococcus granulosus: a rapid method


In this study an attempt was made to develop an efficient, rapid, simple, and reproducible method for the in vitro viability test of Echinococcus granulosus eggs. The eggs were obtained from an experimentally infected dog and kept at 4°C until use. To prepare the dead or damaged eggs, the eggs were heated in hot water (69–72°C for 10 min), preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol (16 days) or exposed to direct sunlight (18 h). Sodium hypochlorite (0.5–0.7%) was used for the hatching process, and the hatched oncospheres were stained with 0.1% eosin for the viability test. With 0.5% sodium hypochlorite, the hatching rates for viable eggs and eggs killed or damaged by heat (69°C), 70% ethyl alcohol, and direct sunlight were 96%, 97.5%, 91.5%, and 94.6% respectively and there was no significant difference between the hatching rate for viable and dead or damaged eggs (p > 0.05). After staining with 0.1% eosin, the rates of the viable oncospheres hatched from viable eggs and the eggs killed or damaged by heat (69°C), 70% ethyl alcohol, and direct sunlight were 97.5% 3.6%, 7%, and 10.5%, respectively. The difference between the rates of viable oncospheres hatched from viable and dead or damaged eggs was extremely significant (P < 0.0001). With 0.7% sodium hypochlorite, the hatching rates for viable and dead eggs (killed by 72°C for 10 min) were 99.1% and 99.9%, respectively. In this condition, the rate of viable oncospheres was an average of 98.5% for viable eggs and 0.0% for dead ones. The results of this study showed that hatching of eggs by 0.7% sodium hypochlorite and staining of hatched oncospheres by 0.1% eosin are practical methods for the differentiation of viable and nonviable (dead) eggs of Echinococcus granulosus.

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The authors are thankful to Shiraz University for providing financial assistance (Grant number 87-GR-VT-24). We kindly thank Mr. A. Mootabi Alavi for his kind assistance in performing this study.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Moazeni.

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Moazeni, M., Rakhshandehroo, E. In vitro viability test for the eggs of Echinococcus granulosus: a rapid method. Parasitol Res 110, 925–930 (2012).

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  • Methylene Blue
  • Ethyl Alcohol
  • Sodium Hypochlorite
  • Direct Sunlight
  • Viability Test