Prevalence and Comparison of Serologic Assays, Necropsy, and Tongue Examination for the Diagnosis of Porcine Cysticercosis in Peru

View More View Less
  • PRISMA, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Johns Hopkins University, Centers for Disease Control, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru
Restricted access

Swine cysticercosis, a severe zoonotic disease which is part of the Taenia solium life cycle, causes major economic losses in pig husbandry. Throughout South America, farmers diagnose cysticercosis by examining the tongues of their pigs for cysticercus nodules. Farmers do not bring pigs believed to be infected to the slaughterhouse for fear of confiscation. Therefore, reliable statistics on porcine cysticercosis can only be acquired at the household level. We examined the utility of the tongue test as a diagnostic tool for porcine cysticercosis. The results of the tongue test was compared with 2 serologic methods for the detection of cysticercosis, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot assay (EITB), and with necropsy results. We examined 11 animals from an endemic area (Huancayo) and 42 animals from an area free of cysticercosis (Lima). The tongue test has a sensitivity of 70% and a specificity of 100%, the EITB a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, and the ELISA a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 75%. Thus, the tongue examination, being a test essentially without cost and having fair sensitivity and high specificity, can be useful in epidemiological surveys. Prevalence for porcine cysticercosis in Huancayo is 23.4% by tongue examination, 31.2% by necropsy, 37.7% by ELISA, and 51.9% by EITB.