Comparison of multiplex copro PCR with coproscopy followed by PCR on recovered eggs for the detection of Echinococcus granulosus and Taenia spp. infection in dogs

Daniel Yasur-Landau*, Or Genad, Harold Salant, Eran Dvir, Monica L. Mazuz, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Echinococcosis and taeniasis are important helminth diseases that carry considerable impact on human and animal health. Domestic dogs and other canids are definitive hosts for several parasites of this group, including Echinococcus granulosus, Taenia multiceps, T. ovis, T. hydatigena and E. multilocularis. Detection of infection in dog populations is imperative for estimating the risk to susceptible humans and animals, and for its mitigation through prevention measures in dogs, other animals and humans. To date, identification of taeniid eggs, antigens or DNA in fecal samples are the most practical diagnostic modalities available for canine definitive hosts. Although widely used for this purpose, there is limited information comparing copro PCR and combined coproscopy-PCR protocols for the detection of taeniids. In the current study, a widely used multiplex PCR was performed on a large number of dog fecal samples using DNA extracted directly from feces. The samples were also tested by fecal flotation and coproscopy, eggs were isolated from microscopically-positive samples and extracted DNA was tested using the same multiplex PCR. The total number of taeniid positive samples detected using both methods was 46/317 (14.5%), including 10/317 (3.2%) E. granulosus positive samples. Both copro PCR and coproscopy have identified an equal number of samples as taeniid positive (n = 32). However, for the purpose of identification to species level, the copro PCR was significantly more sensitive than coproscopy followed by PCR on isolated eggs (sensitivity 0.7 vs. 0.41, p = 0.012), with 32/317 (10.1%) and 19/317 (6%) positive samples identified, respectively. The difference in identification of E. granulosus was highly apparent, as the majority of the E. granulosus positive samples (8/10) were detected by the copro PCR only. Coproscopy and egg PCR have identified 5/317 (1.6%) positive samples not detected by the copro PCR, including only a single sample (0.3%) positive for E. granulosus. Adding these positive samples to those identified by the copro PCR did not significantly improve the overall sensitivity (p = 0.074). Therefore, using both copro PCR and coproscopy in parallel may not be advantageous for taeniid detection and identification, at least until the egg PCR is further optimized and performs better. These results should be weighed against the different advantages that coproscopy based approach may offer.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number109885
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Copro PCR
  • Coproscopy
  • Dogs
  • Echinococcus granulosus
  • Taenia spp.
  • Test protocol


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