Molecular epidemiology (ME) is the application of molecular tools to determine the causation of disease. With infectious diseases, such as echinococcosis, this applies to identifying and characterising the aetiological agents and elucidating host range. Such an approach has been very successful with the causative agents of echinococcosis, species of Echinococcus
, initially by providing a workable and practical taxonomy and subsequently determining transmission patterns in endemic areas. This review summarises the taxonomy and nomenclature of species of Echinococcus
and provides an update on ME investigations of the ecology of Echinococcus
transmission, particularly in areas where more than one species of Echinococcus
is maintained in cycles of transmission that may interact.
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