Treatment of Porcine Cysticercosis with Albendazole

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  • Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Laboratorio de Parasitologia, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of Utah, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lima, Peru
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In a randomized, controlled study, the efficacy and safety of two different schemes of albendazole therapy for treatment of porcine cysticercosis were tested. Seventeen naturally infected pigs were divided into three groups and treated per os with albendazole (50 mg/kg single dose), albendazole (30 mg/kg every day for three days), or given no treatment, respectively. Serologic responses were monitored with the enzyme-linked electroimmunotransfer blot assay. Pigs were humanely killed 12 weeks after treatment, necropsied, and the number of parasites was recorded. Scolex evagination was used to assess viability of the cysts. Both albendazole-treated groups had significant side effects (anorexia, lethargy). Only a single viable cyst was recovered from the brain of one animal after therapy in the multiple-dose group, and the single-dose therapy left 11% of the cysts viable. In contrast, more than 90% of muscle cysts were found to be viable in the untreated group. Although albendazole therapy for three days was found to be highly effective, side effects and the need for multiple doses would still prevent its widespread use.