Sandra Hänni, Naturopath, Täuffelen, Switzerland
The symptoms of echinococcosis range from upper abdominal pains and loss of appetite to jaundice, caused by disturbance to bilirubin metabolism, and portal hypertension.
The main organ in which this parasitic infection develops is the liver, as in 90% of cases, but infestation of the lungs and brain also form part of its clinical picture. It is mainly passed on as a result of poor hygiene from unwashed forest fruits, mushrooms and herbs. Infection by echinococcus larvae produces similar symptoms to those produced by a malign tumour. Characteristic features include inflammations and vascular proliferation with necrosis and cavity formation. It is thought to take 8 to 15 years from initial infection to the first signs of the disease appearing.
If a predator host, such as a dog or cat, becomes infected, the animal will display minimal symptoms, except for an acute worm stress. This is in contrast to animals of prey, such as sheep and mic...