An epidemiological study of Taenia solium cysticercosis in a rural population in the Bolivian Chaco.
Carrique-Mas J., Iihoshi N., Widdowson MA., Roca Y., Morales G., Quiroga J., Cejas F., Caihuara M., Ibarra R., Edelsten M.
A survey of 100 rural households in a village in the Chaco region of Bolivia revealed a serious problem of Taenia solium cysticercosis, with a seroprevalence of 99/447 (22%) in humans and 102/273 (37%) in pigs. Risk factors for humans were being in older age groups, absence of sanitary facilities, poor formal education and inability to recognise infected pork. Significant risk indicators were a history of seizures and the reported elimination of worms in the faeces. Risk factors for pigs were being in older age groups and absence of sanitary facilities in the owner's house. The proportion of households with evidence of human cysticercosis was similar for those who owned pigs (48%) and those that did not (55%). This unexpected finding was attributed to the high overall prevalence of cysticercosis in pigs and the probability that everyone, regardless of pig-ownership, had ample opportunity to become infected in such communities. The main recommendation for reducing the prevalence of human cysticercosis was to provide more effective education campaigns, aimed at preventing both T. solium infection and cysticercosis.