The aim of this study was to examine the effect of different temperatures and humidities on the infectivity of Echinococcus granulosus protoscolices. Eighteen dogs (6 groups, n = 3 each) were fed with offal mince harbouring approximately 20,000 protoscolices of E. granulosus of different viabilities. Dogs were infected with E. granulosus protoscolices of: (1) 5% viability at -10 degrees C and 50% relative humidity (RH); (2) 30% viability at 0 degrees C and 60% RH; (3) 20% viability at +10 degrees C and 65% RH; (4) 15% viability at +30 degrees C and 75% RH; (5) 11% viability at +40 degrees C and 80% RH; (6) 68% viability (control group). Dogs in each group were necropsied at 29-49 days post-infection. Mean intensities of E. granulosus recovered from dogs were 256.7 +/- 60.3 in the second group; 32.7 +/- 7.1 in the third group; 40.3 +/- 15.5 in the fourth group and 1533 +/- 513 in the control group. However, no parasites were recovered from the first and fifth groups. Results obtained in the present study show that larval stages could be infective for 1 to 4 weeks during spring, autumn or winter months when maximal temperatures are approximately 0-10 degrees C. In conclusion, cold-storage depots in slaughterhouses and abattoirs where sheep carcasses might be discarded should be kept at -20 degrees C for 2-3 days, dogs should be properly controlled and adequate control programmes must be established in areas where the disease is endemic.