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 (P ≤ 0.0001). 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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)