Free Content A seroepidemiological study of human cysticercosis in West Cameroon

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Abstract:

Summary

We studied the occurrence of human cysticercosis in 4993 individuals from three rural communities of Menoua Division, West Province of Cameroon. Circulating antigens of Taenia solium metacestodes were detected in 0.4%, 1.0% and 3.0% of the serum samples taken in Bafou, Bamendou and Fonakekeu, respectively, and examined using a monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. This test detects only carriers of living cysticerci and gives thus a good idea of the presence of active cysticercosis. The percentage of persons infected with cysticercosis increased with age. Twenty-two of the 34 seropositives underwent computed tomography (CT) of the brain. Thirteen of them were CT-scan positive, which shows that neurocysticercosis was present in 59.1% of the tested seropositive persons. No living cysticerci were detected among 20 seronegative people. About 20.6% of the seropositives had a history of or current taeniasis against only 1.9% of the seronegatives. Based on these figures and on the data on porcine cysticercosis (prevalence: 11%) and human taeniasis (prevalence: 0.13%) collected in the same region, we conclude that T. solium cysticercosis is an endemic, but overlooked public health problem in West Cameroon.

Keywords: Cameroon; Taenia solium; antigen-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; computed tomography-scan; cysticercosis; neurocysticercosis

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-3156.2003.01000.x

Affiliations: 1: University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon 2: Central Hospital of Yaoundé, Department of Radiology, Yaoundé, Cameroon 3: District Hospital of Dschang, Cameroon 4: Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat, Antwerp, Belgium 5: Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Liège, Sart Tilman, Belgium

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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