2014 Volume 42 Issue 4 Pages 177-184
Human cystic echinococcosis (CE) is an endemic disease in the Mediterranean area that has not yet been fully documented in western Libya. The present study describes the clinico-epidemiologic profile of CE in western Libya’s Nalut district. From April 2008 to July 2011, 36 cases of CE were confirmed following surgical removal of cysts. The cysts were most frequently found in the liver (61.1%), followed by the lungs (19.4%), kidneys (11.1%), peritoneal cavity (11.1%), and spleen (5.6%). Among the 36 patients, 6 possessed plural cysts and 3 had cysts in 2 organs. Blood samples from this group were examined for the presence of serum anti-hydatid IgG antibodies, which revealed positivity in 25 patients (69.4%). An additional 300 blood samples were collected randomly from the inpatient and outpatient clinics at Nalut Hospital. Twenty-seven samples (9%) were found to be positive for the anti-hydatid IgG antibody among which the prevalence of infection tended to be higher in men (12%) than in women (6%). This study demonstrates that CE is a major parasitic infectious disease of public health significance in Libya, notably in the western part of the country, and that disease awareness needs to be raised nationwide.