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Cystic echinococcosis in a Moroccan boy: a silent and neglected disease among refugee and migrant children
  1. Álvaro Vázquez-Pérez1 and
  2. Juan Luis Santos-Pérez2
  1. 1Pediatrics, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain
  2. 2Paediatrics, Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology Unit, Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Andalucía, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Álvaro Vázquez-Pérez; avzqpz{at}


We report the unusual case of a 5-year-old migrant boy from a rural area of Morocco with an almost-giant lung hydatid cyst that was an incidental finding on a chest X-ray performed during routine visa procedures. Echinococcus granulosus serology test was initially negative with subsequent positive seroconversion. Albendazole was started at 4 weeks before surgery and maintained for 4 months, with a favourable outcome. Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is considered a neglected tropical disease and affects more than one million people worldwide, mostly from a lower socioeconomic background. Preventive measures have been limited in underdeveloped regions. Children with CE are especially vulnerable, due not only to the high pathogenic potential of the disease but also to their frequent involvement in challenging socioeconomic situations, including migration. The incidence of CE is increasing in Europe because of high immigration flows from endemic countries. Nevertheless, CE is not covered by current migrant screening protocols.

  • global health
  • tropical medicine (infectious disease)
  • paediatric surgery
  • migration and health
  • paediatrics

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  • Contributors AV-P and JLS-P took care of the patient. AV-P and JLS-P conceived the idea of case reporting. AV-P wrote the first draft, JLS-P reviewed the draft before finalising.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.