MEmE - Multi-centre study on Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus granulosus s.l. in Europe: development and harmonization of diagnostic methods in the food chain

  • International Research Project
  • 2020 to 2022

Goal: MEmE is a multicentre collaborative international project aiming to fill the research gaps highlighted by international agencies for the detection and control of cystic and alveolar echinococcosis (CE and AE).
MEmE, expanding the results of previous European projects, will focus on both the standardization, harmonization and validation of existing parasitological and molecular methods, and the development and comparative assessment of innovative molecular tools and biomarkers to detect Echinococcus multilocularis (Em) and Echinococcus granulosus s.l. (Eg) in the food chain. A biomarker discovery task will also focus on the proteomic analysis of exosomes in sheep plasma, to develop innovative tools for the detection of CE the natural intermediate host. Production of epidemiological data on the presence of Em/Eg eggs in the food chain will focus on vegetables for human consumption as well as dogs’ faeces in selected endemic countries. Moreover, food source-targeted questionnaires will be developed and administered to a sample of patients with CE, in selected hospitals, including those registered in the European Register of CE (ERCE), and AE and matched controls, to advance our knowledge on food-related risk factors for human infection. Organization and delivery of parasitological and molecular Proficiency Testing Schemes on the validated techniques will be organized.
Altogether, MEmE will provide a comprehensive set of relevant integrative activities (including development and validation of protocols, collection of biological material, capacity building, and epidemiological investigations). These will allow partner organisations to harmonize procedures, improve detection of Eg and Em, and define control strategies based on the occurrence of these pathogens in the food chain and the relative importance of their food-borne transmission.

Funding Institution:

One Health European Joint Programme.


Investigador Responsável: Adriano Casulli;

Instituição Proponente: Istituto Superiore Di Sanità (ISS, Itália).