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Cystic echinococcosis (CE), a worldwide zoonosis, is highly endemic in southern and eastern Europe. Its actual prevalence is unknown due to the lack of efficient reporting systems designed to take into account the particular features of the disease. Neglect of CE makes diagnosis and clinical management difficult outside referral centres, with inconsistencies in clinical practice and often unnecessary procedures carried out that have associated risks and costs. The Italian registry of CE (RIEC) is a prospective multicentre registry of CE patients seen from January 2012 in Italian health centres; data are voluntarily submitted to the registry. Its aims are to show the prevalence of CE in Italy, bring the importance of this infection to the attention of health authorities, encourage public health policies towards its control, and stimulate biological, epidemiological and clinical research on CE. From January 2012 to February 2014, a total 346 patients were enrolled in 11 centres, outnumbering national reports of many CE-endemic European countries. We discuss preliminary data and challenges of the RIEC, template for the European registry of CE, which has been implemented within the Seventh Framework Programme project HERACLES (Human cystic Echinococcosis ReseArch in CentraL and Eastern Societies) since September 2014.


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