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Spontaneously Arrested Transmission of Cysticercosis in a Highly Endemic Village with a Very Low Migration Rate

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  • 1 School of Medicine, Universidad Espíritu Santo, Ecuador, Guayaquil, Ecuador;
  • 2 Center for Global Health, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Tumbes, Perú;
  • 3 School of Public Health, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon;
  • 4 Portland State University, Portland, Oregon;
  • 5 Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium;
  • 6 Department of Microbiology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú;
  • 7 Cysticercosis Unit, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurológicas, Lima, Perú

Taenia solium cysticercosis is difficult to eliminate without interventions or societal development. Atahualpa is a rural Ecuadorian village with documented low migration rate, where domestic pig raising is common and human cysticercosis is endemic. To assess neurocysticercosis (NCC) prevalence, 1,273 villagers aged ≥ 20 years underwent neuroimaging studies, which showed calcified lesions in 121 (9.5%) individuals, but no active disease. Likewise, positive reactions, apparently nonspecific, were found in only 3/200 subjects by the use of a monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect T. solium antigens in urine. Only 2/418 pigs reacted to three antibody bands on serum western blot and none to more than three bands. This is the first time that spontaneously arrested T. solium transmission is documented in a known endemic village. Understanding why active transmission stopped could provide insights on potential targets for control interventions. Atahualpa could provide an optimal scenario for longitudinal studies on the consequences of calcified NCC.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Oscar H. Del Brutto, Air Center 3542, P.O. Box 522970, Miami, FL 33152-2970. E-mail: oscardelbrutto@hotmail.com

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Financial support: This study was partially supported by Universidad Espíritu Santo, Ecuador, Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Authors’ addresses: Oscar H. Del Brutto, Department of Neurological Sciences, Hospital-Clinica Kennedy, Guayas, Ecuador, E-mail: oscardelbrutto@hotmail.com. Seth E. O’Neal, School of Public Health, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, and Department of Epidemiology, Portland State University, Portland, OR, E-mail: oneals@ohsu.edu. Pierre Dorny, Department of Tropical Medicine, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, E-mail: pdorny@itg.be. Héctor H. García, Centro de Salud Global Tumbes, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú, and Department of Microbiology, School of Sciences, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: hgarcia1@jhu.edu.

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