Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Canadian researcher learns about hydatid disease parasite

5 February 2016

Associate Professor Alessandro Massolo, Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is currently visiting Charles Sturt University and the Graham Centre for three months of his sabbatical year. During his stay Assoc Prof Massolo will work with Dr David Jenkins, learning about Echinococcus granulosus, the parasite that causes hydatid disease.

Assoc Prof Massolo’s visit is funded by a Graham Centre International Visiting Scientist Award.

Dr David Jenkins & Associate Professor Alessandro MassoloAssoc Prof Massolo is a Wildlife Health Ecologist and, like Dr Jenkins, works mainly with parasites of wildlife. He works on E. multilocularis, a parasite related to E. granulosus, common in Canadian wildlife. This species of Echinococcus cycles mostly through rodents (field voles) and predators (foxes and coyotes), and like E. granulosus is infective to people through accidental ingestion of eggs passed in predator faeces.

Assoc Prof Massolo is based in the Graham Centre but will spend much of his time with Dr Jenkins in the bush, familiarising himself with the wildlife species that contribute to the lifecycle of E. granulosus in Australia.

They will also take the opportunity to develop ideas for future larger collaborative studies.