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Free Content A seroepidemiological study of human cysticercosis in West Cameroon

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

Document Type: Research Article

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: 2003-02-01

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