Hydatid disease (echinococcosis) is caused by the encysted form of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. The large cysts are an intermediate form of the tapeworm, which usually occurs in livestock. The tapeworm itself lives in dogs, and since the domestication of dogs, humans have contracted the encysted tapeworm.
The large, clear cysts are uncomfortable, and can be life-threatening if the cysts burst.
QIMR researchers are aiming to stop the transmission from domestic dogs to humans with a vaccine.
Our research focuses on:
- investigating the genetic variability in the E. granulosus population
- developing, trialling and evaluating a vaccine against E. granulosus for dogs
- identifying targets for anti-echinococcus treatments
- researching new diagnostics for hydatid disease
- epidemiological and immunological studies on hydatid disease in Australia and China.