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Free Content Taenia solium taeniasis and cysticercosis in three communities in north Vietnam

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Summary Objectives 

(1) To investigate the response to a serum antigen-detecting ELISA for cysticercosis and a stool coproantigen test for taeniasis in two rural communities (mountainous and coastal areas) and one group of (peri-)urban factory workers; and (2) to examine clinical features of human cysticercosis in northern Vietnam. Methods 

Villagers and factory workers and their families were informed and invited to participate in the study. Blood and faecal samples were collected from the participants and a simple questionnaire on taeniasis/cysticercosis completed. Serum was examined for the presence of circulating cysticercus antigen by a monoclonal-based sandwich ELISA. Ag-ELISA positive persons underwent a clinical examination and a computed tomography (CT) scan. Stool samples were examined microscopically for the presence of Taenia eggs and for copro-antigens. Tapeworms were identified following therapeutic expulsion using morphology and PCR-RFLP. Results 

Circulating cysticercus antigens, suggesting active infection, were detected in 5.3% (16/303), 0.6% (1/175) and 0.0% (0/229) of the sampled individuals from the mountainous, coastal and urban regions, respectively. Clinical examination and CT scan of the cysticercus antigen positive persons showed that active cysticercosis did not cause severe disease in most cases. Taenia copro-antigens were found in 0.3% (1/297), 1.8% (3/166) and 0.0% (0/228) of the stool samples from the mountainous, coastal and urban communities, respectively. Three tapeworms were expelled after treatment: two Taenia solium and one Taenia saginata. Conclusion 

This survey points to a focal distribution of taeniasis/cysticercosis and suggests that human cysticercosis is rather acquired due to close contact with a T. solium carrier and self-infection, than through infection from the environment.

Keywords: cysticercosis; epidemiology; northern Vietnam; taeniasis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium 2: National Institute of Veterinary Research, Hanoi, Vietnam 3: National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology, Hanoi, Vietnam 4: Biosciences Research Institute, University of Salford, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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