Following detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) illegally imported into South Carolina (USA) for release in fox-chasing enclosures, a survey for E. multilocularis was conducted in four enclosures in Georgia (USA) and six enclosures in South Carolina. Survey methods included examination of potential small mammal intermediate hosts (n =390) for E. multilocularis larvae, examination of fox and coyote (Canis latrans) scats (n =59) for taeniid eggs, and examination of one possible canine definitive hosts for adult E. multilocularis. All intermediate and definitive hosts examined were negative for E. multilocularis and taeniid eggs were not recovered from fox and coyote fecal samples. Thus, E. multilocularis may not yet be established in fox-chasing enclosures in Georgia and South Carolina. Despite the failure to demonstrate E. multilocularis in the fox-chasing enclosures surveyed, translocation of wild canids from known enzootic regions should be discouraged because E. multilocularis is known to be ecologically adaptable and because contact with potentially infected definitive hosts during translocation is a public health risk.
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Vol. 29 • No. 3