Carotid Taenia solium Oncosphere Infection: A Novel Porcine Neurocysticercosis Model

Karen A. Alroy Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland;

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Gianfranco Arroyo School of Public Health and Management, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;

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Robert H. Gilman Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland;

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Eloy Gonzales-Gustavson School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

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Linda Gallegos School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

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Cesar M. Gavidia School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

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Manuela Verastegui Departments of Pathology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;

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Silvia Rodriguez Microbiology of the School of Science, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;

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Teresa Lopez School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

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Luis A. Gomez-Puerta School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

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Joseph Alroy School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts

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Hector H. Garcia Microbiology of the School of Science, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;

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Armando E. Gonzalez Microbiology of the School of Science, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;

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for the Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland;
School of Public Health and Management, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;
Departments of Pathology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
Microbiology of the School of Science, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts

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Neurocysticercosis (NCC), the infection of the human central nervous system (CNS) with larval cysts of Taenia solium causes widespread neurological morbidity. Animal models are crucial for studying the pathophysiology and treatment of NCC. Some drawbacks of current NCC models include differences in the pathogenesis of the model and wild-type parasite, low rates of infection efficiency and lack of reproducibility. We describe a novel porcine model that recreates infection in the CNS with high efficiency. Activated oncospheres, either in a high (45,000–50,000) or low (10,000) dose were inoculated in the common carotid artery of 12 pigs by ultrasound-guided catheterization. Following oncosphere injection, either a high (30 mL) or low (1–3 mL) volume of saline flush was also administered. Cyst burden in the CNS was evaluated independently according to oncosphere dose and flush volume. Neurocysticercosis was achieved in 8/12 (66.7%) pigs. Cyst burden in the CNS of pigs was higher in the high versus the low oncosphere dose category (median: 4.5; interquartile ranges [IQR]: 1–8 and median: 1; IQR: 0–4, respectively) and in the high versus the low flush volume category (median 5.5; IQR: 1–8 and median: 1; IQR: 0–2, respectively), although not statistically different. All cysts in the CNS were viable, whereas both viable and degenerated cysts were found in the musculature. Carotid injection of activated oncospheres in pigs is effective in reproducing NCC. Oncosphere entry into the CNS by way of vasculature mimics wild-type infection, and provides a useful alternative for future investigations on the pathogenesis and antiparasitic treatment of NCC.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Hector H. Garcia, Department of Microbiology, School of Sciences, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Avenida Honorio Delgado 430, SMP, Lima, Peru. E-mail: hgarcia1@jhu.edu

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Deceased.

Financial support: This study was supported by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH, training grants numbers D43TW008273-05 and D42TW001140) and by Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars and Fellows Program at Vanderbilt University (grant number R24 TW007988).

Authors’ addresses: Karen A. Alroy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: kalroy01@gmail.com. Gianfranco Arroyo, School of Public Health and Management, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: arroyogianfranco@gmail.com. Robert H. Gilman, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, E-mail: gilmanbob@gmail.com. Eloy Gonzales-Gustavson, Linda Gallegos, Cesar M. Gavidia, Teresa Lopez, Luis A. Gomez-Puerta, and Armando E. Gonzalez, School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, E-mails: gonzaleseloy@yahoo.com, linda.gallegoschu@gmail.com, cgavidiac@unmsm.edu.pe, teresalopezup@gmail.com, lucho92@yahoo.com, and agonzalezz@gmail.com. Manuela Verastegui, Department of Pathology, School of Sciences, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: manuela.verastegui@upch.pe. Joseph Alroy, School of Medicine, Tufts University, Boston, MA, E-mail: joealroy@gmail.com. Hector H. Garcia, Department of Microbiology, School of Sciences, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: hgarcia1@jhu.edu.

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