World Organisation for Animal Health and World Health Organization 2001,
ISBN 92-9044-522-X, pp. 265
The aim of this excellent manual is to provide background information, including practical aspects, on the diagnosis and treatment of echinococcosis in humans and animals, as well as on the geographical distribution, control and prevention of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) in close collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) considered it opportune to publish this very useful "Manual on Echinococcosis". Edited by four well known experts on echinococcosis, it is written by over 50 specialists in this field, who contributed in a different degree to the preparation of this book. The contents of seven chapters of this manual is following: (1) aetiology: parasites and life cycles; (2) echinococcosis in humans: clinical aspects, diagnosis and treatment; (3) echinococcosis in animals: clinical aspects, diagnosis and treatment; (4) geographic distribution and prevalence; (5) epidemiology; (6) control; (7) prevention of echinococcosis in humans and safety precautions.
Echinococcosis is not only one of the most serious and devastating parasitic disease of humans and animals, but is also very difficult and expensive to treat, control and prevent. During last 20 years, the understanding of the epidemiology of echinococcosis has improved greatly, new techniques for diagnosing the infection, both in humans and animals, became available, evident progress has been achieved in the treatment of human echinococcosis and new prevention strategies have emerged with the development of a vaccine against Echinococcus granulosus in intermediate hosts.
The publication of a book such as this manual is, therefore, long overdue; the previous "WHO Guidelines for Surveillance, Prevention and Control of Echinococcosis/Hydatidosis" were published in 1984, almost 20 years ago. The book is well written and well presented due to a well selected illustrative material. The Editors deserve full credit for taking the time to organize and produce this work. Readable character of this book is due to a good balance between general background reference-type material and review chapters that give updates on the current knowledge about this devastating disease of humans and animals. Some chapters of this manual such as: "Aetiology: parasite life-cycles" or "Molecular techniques for strain identification" are rather research oriented while most of others concentrate on very practical applied methods of control and prevention.
According to the editors the major aim of the "WHO/OIE Manual on Echinococcosis" is to assist personnel from the medical and veterinary sectors involved in surveillance, prevention and control of echinococcosis to develop effective programmes based on current knowledge and modern techniques. Furthermore, it can serve as an excellent reference book for undergraduate and postgraduate students in veterinary, medical and life sciences, and for those considering research into echinococcosis.