top of page

Common Name: Hydatid Worm

Scientific Name: Echinococcus granulosus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Platyhelminthes

Class: Cestoda

Order: Cyclophyllidea

Family: Taeniidae

Genus: Echinococcus

Species: E. granulosus

The Hydatid Worm is a worm that lives in humans and animals, like herbivores. Some types of animals they live in are sheep, deer, moose, kangaroos, and wallabies. Or really anything that eats dog feces. This animal is a tapeworm so they are usually clear or white. Their size depends on how long you have been “growing” it. They can get up to 5mm long. Adaptations they have are humans and animals. Most of these tapeworms like to live in the intestines of the body. In that area, they like to eat off you. Whatever you eat they eat too, it’s like feeding two people at one time. Good for them but bad for you when they eat there not just eating your food, but also sucking your blood. So while you feed it, it’s going to keep on growing and growing, soon it’s going to get to big and will have to get it removed. Some symptoms of this worm are your liver growing, there may be hooklets in your sputum and there may also be an anaphylactic shock.


When the body finally finds out the immune system reacts by making cysts. The cysts can grow to be as big as a softball, and even a basketball. Cysts can be found with an ultrasound, MRI, or immunoelectrophoresis. You can treat these cysts with surgery, they have to be watched so they don’t get bigger or grow more of them. Some interesting facts I found about my animal are that you can only get this from eating dog, sheep, or horse feces, or like your dog licking your face and some of his slobber gets in your mouth. Another thing is that it takes the body about one to two years to make a cyst. The cysts can form anywhere, most happen in brain or kidney. IN the brain there is a 20% chance. In the kidneys, there is a 3% chance. This type of tapeworm is decreasing. An example of this is that in Germany scientists watched foxes for 40 months.


At the end of the 40 months, 4374 foxes had this tapeworm. They divided the foxes into zones, zone 1 had a decrease of 18.8% and zone 2 2.4% of a decrease. So this tapeworm is decreasing.


Author: Emily M

Published: 5/2008




Photo Credit:

bottom of page