High Prevalence of Asymptomatic Neurocysticercosis in an Endemic Rural Community in Peru

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Neurocysticercosis is a common helminthic infection of the central nervous system and an important cause of adult-onset epilepsy in endemic countries. However, few studies have examined associations between neurologic symptoms, serology and radiographic findings on a community-level. Methodology: We conducted a population-based study of resident’s ≥2 years old in a highly endemic village in Peru (pop. 454). We applied a 14 -question neurologic screening tool and evaluated serum for antibodies against Taenia solium cysticercosis using enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (LLGP-EITB). We invited all residents ≥18 years old to have non-contrast computerized tomography (CT) of the head. Principal findings: Of the 385 residents who provided serum samples, 142 (36.9%) were seropositive. Of the 256 residents who underwent CT scan, 48 (18.8%) had brain calcifications consistent with NCC; 8/48 (17.0%) reported a history of headache and/or seizures. Exposure to T. solium is very common in this endemic community where 1 out of 5 residents had brain calcifications. However, the vast majority of people with calcifications were asymptomatic. Conclusion: This study reports a high prevalence of NCC infection in an endemic community in Peru and confirms that a large proportion of apparently asymptomatic residents have brain calcifications that could provoke seizures in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0005130
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 19 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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