Epidemiologic Study and Control of Taenia Solium Infections with Praziquantel in a Rural Village of Mexico

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  • School of Chemical and Biological Sciences, School of Agriculture, and School of Physico-Mathematical Sciences, Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa, Center for Research in Public Health, National Institute of Public Health, Department of Immunology, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Culiacan, Mexico

This study reports the results of an epidemiologic survey for the detection of Taenia solium in a rural village of 559 inhabitants in Sinaloa, Mexico, as well as a large scale treatment of the population with praziquantel. The study was carried out in two stages. In stage I, serial stool analysis of 392 persons detected a cluster of three T. solium tapeworms. A fourth T. solium tapeworm was detected through a household census, giving a 1.32% prevalence rate for this helminth. Over 70% of the population over five years of age was treated with a 10mg/kg dose of praziquantel, and no additional tapeworms were found. Environmental studies for the detection of Taenia sp. eggs in soil, water, and and objects from the houses of tapeworm-infected individuals showed only one soil sample containing eggs compatible with Taenia sp. A total of 72 domestic pigs were examined for the presence of cysticerci under the tongue. One animal had cysts, and belonged to a household that had two T. solium tapeworm infections. Stage 2 of the study was carried out one year after large scale antihelminthic treatment (LSAT), and no infections with Taenia sp. eggs were found. No cysticercus-infected pigs were detected. Intestinal parasitosis decreased from 69.2% to 37.5%. It is concluded that LSAT with praziquantel is efficient in decreasing endemic foci of T. solium. Seropositivity to T. solium bladder fluid antigens was tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and found to be 11% before LSAT and 7% one year later. In family members living with T. solium tapeworm carriers, the number of seropositive individuals was 28%. The relative risk ratio of seropositivity for persons living in the same household with a T. solium tapeworm carrier was 2.95. Positive response was significantly higher in the 30–39-year-old age group, in which 30% were seropositive in stage 1, compared with 7% one year after LSAT. High seropositivity rates were significantly associated with tapeworm clusters as well as with individuals with a clinical history of seizures.