Letter | Published:

BCG suppresses growth and metastasis of hydatid infections

Naturevolume 256pages318319 (1975) | Download Citation



THE asexually proliferating larvae of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis have an intriguing resemblance to malignant tumours. Indeed, until 1856 when Virchow demonstrated the parasitic nature of these cyst masses in man, such lesions were commonly diagnosed as carcinomas of the liver1. In the laboratory, infections with this parasite can be propagated vegetatively by transplanting the metacestode into the peritoneal cavity of susceptible rodent intermediate hosts2. The protoscolices transform into small cysts which grow and metastasise by peripheral herniation and the detachment of minute vesicles3.

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    Virchow, R., Verh. Phys.-Med. Ges. Würzburg, 6, 84–95 (1856).

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    Hibbs, J. B., Jr, Lambert, L. H., Jr, and Remington, J. S., J. Infect. Dis., 129, 587–592 (1971).

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    Hibbs, J. B., Jr, Lambert, L. H., Jr, and Remington, J. S., Nature new Biol., 235, 48–50 (1972).

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    Baldwin, R. W., and Pimm, M. V., Br. J. Cancer, 30, 473–476 (1974).

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  1. Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Macdonald College, Quebec, Canada, H0A 1C0

    • M. E. RAU
    •  & C. E. TANNER


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