According to a news release from Mattilsynet (Norwegian Food Safety Authority) computer translated:
The parasite Echinococcus (Echinococcus canadensis G10) has been detected on a moose that was felled in Stor-Elvdal municipality in Innlandet. The sample was taken at a game slaughterhouse, and the relevant elk carcass was discarded and destroyed. This is the first time the parasite has been detected on moose in Norway.
The sample was taken from an adult moose in good condition. There were no abnormal findings at the slaughter, apart from a number of fluid-filled blisters in the lungs. The sample was submitted from the game slaughterhouse in connection with the ordinary slaughter inspection to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
The veterinary institute has analyzed the samples and confirmed the diagnosis. Final typing of the parasite showed that it is Echinococcus canadensis G10 (a parasite within the E. granulosus sensu lato group ).
First case of moose in Norway
There are several different species in the parasite genus Echinococcus , the best known of which is the fox’s dwarf ringworm ( E. multilocularis ), which is a different parasite than the one found on the moose in the interior.
Echinococcus is a parasite that has dogs as final hosts and other animal species (incl. humans) as intermediate hosts. In the final host, it lives in the intestine and produces large quantities of eggs that are passed out in the faeces, without the final host showing symptoms of disease.
If the eggs are taken up by an intermediate host, fluid-filled blisters can develop in other tissues, for example lungs (for E. granulosus sensu lato) or liver (for E. multilocularis) . Dogs become infected by eating intermediate hosts with blisters in their meat or organs.
Infection can only be transmitted between the final host and the intermediate host, that is to say that two intermediate hosts such as moose and humans cannot infect each other.
E. canadensis G10 has not been detected in Norway before, but it should have been detected in Sweden and Finland. Then it has primarily been moose as intermediate host and wolf as final host. In Finland, there has also been a human case.
E. granulosus of unknown genotype was common on reindeer in northern Norway in the 1950s. Systematic treatment of herding dogs and restrictions on feeding with raw meat and offal reduced the incidence of this parasite. The last detections were in 1990 and 2003.
Echinococcus can infect humans, but the Institute of Public Health considers that there is a very low risk of infection in this case.
Since dogs can be the final host for Echinococcus , they should not be given raw offal from cervids (elk, deer, roe deer, fallow deer and reindeer). If the dog is infected, it can be treated with drugs against the parasite.
Asks hunters to report to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority
In Norway, echinococcosis (E. multilocularis and E. granulosus) in animals is a national list 2 disease, previously called B disease, which is notifiable.
If the disease is detected after discovery at the slaughterhouse, the carcass and slaughter waste will be destroyed. No further measures are necessary.
The Norwegian Food Authority encourages all big game hunters to report to the Norwegian Food Authority if they discover fluid-filled blisters in the meat or internal organs of deer.
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