Alveolar Hydatid Disease
Infection caused by larval stage of E. multilocularis in humans is less common as compared to E. granulosus and is known as alveolar hydatid disease. It is very rare in our part of the world and is mostly seen in Eastern France, Switzerland, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran Japan, Afghanistan and Russia (Rausch et al. 1991). It is one of the most life-threatening helminthic infections found in human population. Human beings are unusual and poor intermediate hosts for the E. multilocularis, and the disease is usually progressive and destructive in nature. The growth and proliferation of this larva resembles a slow-growing tumour of the liver and can severely destroy the liver parenchyma and its function. In many situations it may be difficult to differentiate alveolar disease from liver cancer because of infiltration into biliary and vascular tissue of the liver. Early diagnosis and radical surgery is a key to definitive treatment and cure of this fatal disease.
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