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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-77

My experience on taeniasis and neurocysticercosis

Department of Microbiology, Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Kashi Nath Prasad
Department of Microbiology, Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospital, LDA Colony, Kanpur Road, Lucknow - 226 012, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tp.tp_6_21

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Taeniasis and neurocysticercosis (NCC) are major public health problems in developing countries. NCC is the leading cause of community-acquired active epilepsy. NCC may present as a medical emergency, especially when there is cysticercotic encephalitis or raised intracranial hypertension. Systematic community-based studies on taeniasis and NCC are lacking. We studied taeniasis and NCC-related active epilepsy disease burden in the pig farming community of Lucknow district, Uttar Pradesh, India. Based on the 30 cluster sampling approach as recommended by the World Health Organization, we estimated the prevalence of taeniasis, NCC-related active epilepsy, and silent NCC in the community. We also estimated the prevalence of swine cysticercosis. Taeniasis was detected in 18.6% of populations. Expulsions of tapeworm segments in stool, consumption of undercooked pork, age above 15 years, and handwash with clay or plain water after defecation were associated with taeniasis. On molecular analyses of positive stool samples, T. solium was identified in 40% and Taenia asiatica in 60% of cases. Active epilepsy was identified in 5.8% of subjects; 48% of them had NCC. On neuroimaging, NCC was detected in 15% of asymptomatic individuals. We observed that host genetic factors such as toll-like receptor-4, matrix metalloproteinase-9, intercellular adhesion molecule-1, and glutathione-S transferase gene polymorphisms were associated with seizure in NCC. When peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from NCC subjects were exposed to cysticerci fluid antigens in-vitro, PBMCs from symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects showed significantly higher Th 1 and Th 2 cytokines response respectively, symptomatic patients had significant Th-1 cytokines response, while asymptomatic individuals showed Th-2 response. Porcine cysticercosis was detected in 26% of swine; 38% of them had cysticerci in the brain. Swine with brain involvement showed clinical signs such as excessive salivation, excessive blinking and tearing, and subconjunctival nodule. On molecular analysis, 15% of cysticerci in swine were identified as T. asiatica. Infected swine when treated with albendazole plus/minus steroid, the response rate of cysticerci (either dead or resolved lesion) was 100% in albendazole-treated group and 71% in albendazole plus steroid-treated group. The above studies suggest that taeniasis and NCC are alarmingly high in the pig farming community of North India. Taeniasis in human and cysticercosis in swine due to T. asiatica call for further studies on this parasite.

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