GPS Tracking of Free-Ranging Pigs to Evaluate Ring Strategies for the Control of Cysticercosis/Taeniasis in Peru

Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Taenia solium, a parasitic cestode that affects humans and pigs, is the leading cause of preventable epilepsy in the developing world. T. solium eggs are released into the environment through the stool of humans infected with an adult intestinal tapeworm (a condition called taeniasis), and cause cysticercosis when ingested by pigs or other humans. A control strategy to intervene within high-risk foci in endemic communities has been proposed as an alternative to mass antihelminthic treatment. In this ring strategy, antihelminthic treatment is targeted to humans and pigs residing within a 100 meter radius of a pig heavily-infected with cysticercosis. Our aim was to describe the roaming ranges of pigs in this region, and to evaluate whether the 100 meter radius rings encompass areas where risk factors for T. solium transmission, such as open human defecation and dense pig activity, are concentrated. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we used Global Positioning System (GPS) devices to track pig roaming ranges in two rural villages of northern Peru. We selected 41 pigs from two villages to participate in a 48-hour tracking period. Additionally, we surveyed all households to record the locations of open human defecation areas. We found that pigs spent a median of 82.8% (IQR: 73.5, 94.4) of their time roaming within 100 meters of their homes. The size of home ranges varied significantly by pig age, and 93% of the total time spent interacting with open human defecation areas occurred within 100 meters of pig residences. Conclusions/Significance: These results indicate that 100 meter radius rings around heavily-infected pigs adequately capture the average pig’s roaming area (i.e., home range) and represent an area where the great majority of exposure to human feces occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0004591
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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