Hydatid disease (echinococcosis), caused by tapeworm Echinococcus, is a public health and economic problem of global proportions. Treatment of this zoonotic infection usually requires major surgery and the prognosis for some forms of the disease is poor. Control efforts have had little impact globally and new foci of infection and regions of endemicity have recently been recognized. However, in addition to its medical, veterinary and economic significance, Echinococcus is an intriguing biological phenomenon. This text presents a complete synthesis of all aspects of Echinococcus and hydatid disease. It builds on the success of a previous volume ("The Biology of Echinococcus and Hydatid Disease", Allen & Unwin, 1986), and details the major advances that have taken place since. In addition, the scope of the book has been broadened to include genetics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and clinical features. The overriding theme of the book is that an understanding of the biology of Echinococcus is essential for the effective treatment and control of hydatid disease. The links between laboratory knowledge and field applications are emphasized throughout the book. Consequently, research workers, teachers and students of parasitology, clinicians and field workers, should find this work a useful source of information, but it should also provide a model for the integration of basic and applied research in parasitology.
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