Taenia solium cysticercosis hotspots surrounding tapeworm carriers: Clustering on human seroprevalence but not on seizures

Andres G. Lescano, Hector H. Garcia, Robert H. Gilman, Cesar M. Gavidia, Victor C.W. Tsang, Silvia Rodriguez, Lawrence H. Moulton, Manuel V. Villaran, Silvia M. Montano, Armando E. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background: Neurocysticercosis accounts for 30%-50% of all late-onset epilepsy in endemic countries. We assessed the clustering patterns of Taenia solium human cysticercosis seropositivity and seizures around tapeworm carriers in seven rural communities in Peru. Methodology: The presence of T. solium-specific antibodies was defined as one or more positive bands in the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB). Neurocysticercosis-related seizures cases were diagnosed clinically and had positive neuroimaging or EITB. Principal Findings: Eleven tapeworm carriers were identified by stool microscopy. The seroprevalence of human cysticercosis was 24% (196/803). Seroprevalence was 21% > 50 m from a carrier and increased to 32% at 1-50 m (p = 0.047), and from that distance seroprevalence had another significant increase to 64% at the homes of carriers (p = 0.004). Seizure prevalence was 3.0% (25/837) but there were no differences between any pair of distance ranges (p = 0.629, Wald test 2 degrees of freedom). Conclusion/Significance: We observed a significant human cysticercosis seroprevalence gradient surrounding current tapeworm carriers, although cysticercosis-related seizures did not cluster around carriers. Due to differences in the timing of the two outcomes, seroprevalence may reflect recent T. solium exposure more accurately than seizure frequency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere371
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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