Volume 59, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Human Taenia solium cysticercosis is a major cause of epilepsy in developing countries, and porcine infection causes widespread economic losses because of infested pork. Recently, the use of oxfendazole (OFZ) for porcine cysticercosis provided, for the first time, an effective, single-dose treatment. We performed a controlled study to determine the time required between treatment with a single dose of OFZ and the death of cysticerci to define its applicability as preslaughter treatment or as a field control measure. Twenty naturally infected pigs were included in this study. Sixteen received a single dose (30 mg/kg) of OFZ, and were killed in groups of four at one, two, four, and 12 weeks after treatment. Four untreated controls were killed at week 12. No adverse reactions to OFZ were noted. A clear decrease in viability and number of cysts was evident after the first week after therapy, but even at week 4 some viable cysticerci were found in all samples. Twelve weeks after treatment, all meat appeared clear and only minuscule scars remained, except in one animal that had viable brain cysts. This study confirms the efficacy of a single dose of 30 mg/kg of OFZ for porcine cysticercosis but demonstrates that preslaughter treatment of pigs with OFZ will not be useful in controlling cysticercosis. The inclusion of porcine treatment with OFZ in mass cysticercosis control programs is, however, highly promising because it is a simple, effective, inexpensive, and potentially sustainable method for decreasing the porcine reservoir of cysticercosis in disease-endemic countries.


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