PCR Echinococcus sp.

Last updated on 27-7-2023 by Amber Van Laer

Test description

Real-time multiplex PCR is the first-line method used when the sample arrives at the NRL (in-house technique). It simultaneously targets Echinococcus multilocularis and the subspecies of the Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato complex most frequently found in cases of cystic echinococcosis (E. granulosus sensu stricto). If this PCR is negative, the classic multiplex PCR derived from the technique published by Trachsel et al (2007) is performed.  This targets Echinococcus multilocularis and all subspecies of the Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato complex.


If a PCR is prescribed, and depending on the case, the multiplex PCR is carried out alone or supplemented by a conventional PCR if the former is negative.

Instructions regarding the sample

  • Sample type: fresh or paraffin-embedded biopsy, fresh surgical specimen, or biological fluid (bile, respiratory specimen, pleural fluid, puncture fluid).
  • Storage conditions: store at a temperature of between 2 and 8°C within 24 hours. After 24 hours, they are stored at -20°C.
  • Quantity required: minimum volume of 1 mL for biological fluids.

Instructions for transportation

  • Within 24 hours, the sample is transported at a temperature of between 2 and 8°C. After this time, it is transported at -20°C.
  • For fresh biopsies and surgical specimens, the samples must be protected from dehydration, so it is necessary to store them in sterile physiological fluid.
  • Labeling and conditions complying with the rules concerning infectious samples, containers, and packaging are applicable.

Demandes that cannot be accepted

If the request form is missing or if it’s incomplete.

Timeframe for receiving test results (and frequency of analysis)

  • Tests are carried out every working day, from Monday to Friday. Results are available the same day or the following day if a control is required. If post-PCR sequencing is required, this may take a further week.
  • The “turnaround time” (TAT) for this type of analysis is 48 hours.

Communication of the results

The results are communicated via a paper report sent by post or electronically. Positive results are communicated by telephone and fax to the clinician or subcontracted laboratory.


Is the analysis accredited?

Materials and methods

Method reference: 
PCR Echinococcus sp.

Turnaround time and time slots

Turnaround time: 
2 days

Analysis categories


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