Taenia Solium Taeniasis and Neurocysticercosis in a Mexican Rural Family

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  • Facultad de Medicina Dr. Ignacio Chavez, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hildago, Hospital Infantil Eva Samano de Lopez Mateos, Parque Cuauhtemoc S/N, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Morelia, Mich., Mexico

A case of neurocysticercosis in a six-year-old Mexican boy and a case of Taenia solium taeniasis in his five-year-old brother are reported. Neurocysticercosis was suspected based on clinical findings and was confirmed by computed tomography scanning. A parasitologic examination with zinc-sulfate flotation and formalin-ether sedimentation techniques was carried out on the whole family, and revealed Taenia sp. eggs in three stool samples from the five-year-old boy. The entire family agreed to undergo chemotherapy with niclosamide, but only the child passing taeniid eggs eliminated T. solium. No additional taeniasis cases were found in an examination of 20% of the village population, using the same parasitologic techniques. The results of an ELISA using cysticercus antigens were negative for the boy with neurocysticercosis, for other family members, and for 24 village volunteers, but were positive for the T. solium tapeworm carrier. It was concluded that in this family, person-to-person transmission of the tapeworm occurred due to poor living conditions and hygiene.

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