Seroprevalence of antibodies against Taenia solium cysticerci among refugees resettled in United States

Seth E. O'Neal, John M. Townes, Patricia P. Wilkins, John C. Noh, Deborah Lee, Silvia Rodriguez, Hector H. Garcia, William M. Stauffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a disease caused by central nervous system infection by the larval stage of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. In developing countries, NCC is a leading cause of adult-onset epilepsy. Case reports of NCC are increasing among refugees resettled to the United States and other nations, but the underlying prevalence among refugee groups is unknown. We tested stored serum samples from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Migrant Serum Bank for antibodies against T. solium cysts by using the enzymelinked immunoelectrotransfer blot. Seroprevalence was high among all 4 populations tested: refugees from Burma (23.2%), Lao People's Democratic Republic (18.3%), Bhutan (22.8%), and Burundi (25.8%). Clinicians caring for refugee populations should suspect NCC in patients with seizure, chronic headache, or unexplained neurologic manifestations. Improved understanding of the prevalence of epilepsy and other associated diseases among refugees could guide recommendations for their evaluation and treatment before, during, and after resettlement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-438
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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