The wolf tapeworm scare

Montana official says it boils down to anti-wolf propaganda-

This is about the 4th time I have written about Echinococcus granulosus, but here is more information.

It made the news in the Bozeman Chronicle today. “Tapeworm in wolves causes stir, but biologists say there’s little to fear.” By Daniel Person.

This week the Montana State official wolf news — “the Wolf ‘Weekly” — contained the following about tapeworms and wolves.

Echinococcus granulosus was recently documented in Montana and Idaho wolves in a peer reviewed journal article, although it is not known for sure where the E. granulosus originated.  It is considered baseline information for wolves in Montana and Idaho.  FWP has recently completed a fact sheet on Echinococcus, a tape worm.  Here is a short summary.

Two different species of the tape worm are known to exist in Montana wildlife and the environment.  The life cycle requires two different “hosts” – typically a definitive canine host where the worms live in the intestinal tract and from which eggs are shed in feces (wolf, coyote, fox, or domestic dog) and an intermediate host (rodents, domestic or wild ungulates, or occasionally a human) that ingests the eggs previously shed in the definitive host’s feces.  In the intermediate host, eggs can turn into cysts in the organs (liver, lung, or brain).  If the organ tissue of an infected intermediate host is eaten by a wild or domestic canine, adult tapeworms can develop in the intestinal track of the canine and be shed in feces.  Cysts are rarely documented in muscle tissue of the immediate host. Read the rest of this entry »