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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 978146, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Cystic Echinococcosis in a Single Tertiary Care Center in Rome, Italy

1Translational Research Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Preclinical Research, “L. Spallanzani” National Institute for Infectious Diseases (INMI), IRCCS, Via Portuense 292, 00149 Rome, Italy
2Unit of Surgery and Transplantation, “Interaziendale” Department P.O.I.T. Polo Ospedaliero Interaziendale, San Camillo-INMI Lazzaro Spallanzani, Italy
3Department of Radiology, INMI, Italy
4Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology Laboratory, INMI, Italy
5Department of Epidemiology and Preclinical Research, INMI, Italy
6Microbiology Laboratory and Infectious Diseases Bio-Repository, INMI, Italy
7Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 00161 Rome, Italy
8Clinical Department, INMI, Italy
9Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
10Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Pavia, IRCCS, S. Matteo Hospital Foundation, WHO Collaborating Centre for Clinical Management of Cystic Echinococcosis, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 17 April 2013; Revised 26 June 2013; Accepted 29 July 2013

Academic Editor: Ayache Bouakaz

Copyright © 2013 Linda Petrone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a chronic, clinically complex, and neglected disease. Its prevalence in Italy, a country of medium to high endemicity, remains poorly defined, as notification has long ceased to be mandatory. Methods. We set up a retrospective cohort study involving all CE patients followed at our institute between January 2005 and December 2012. Demographical and clinical features were recorded and analyzed. Results. CE was found in 28 patients (64.3%), mostly Italians from the central regions (50%), followed by subjects from the islands (33.3%) and Southern Italy (16.7%). Their median age was 45 years (IQR: 38.5–66.5), with Eastern Europeans being significantly younger (28 years, IQR: 19–39) than other patients ( ). A total of 149 cysts, mostly with hepatic localization (96%), were described. Based on the WHO classification, the cysts were mainly small (80.5%) and active (CE1 (73.8%); CE2 (7.4%)). Active cysts were more common in Eastern Europeans (85.7%) than Italians (66.7%). Conclusion. Our data confirm CE occurrence in Italy. We emphasize the importance to have a national CE registry, opportunely recently introduced. This is essential to assess CE prevalence in this country, implement appropriate control measures, and improve patient management.