Taenia solium metacestode preparation in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa: a source for diagnosis and research on cysticercosis

  • V Schmidt
  • CS Sikasunge
  • E Odongo-Aginya
  • C Simukoko
  • G Mwanjali
  • S Alarakol
  • E Ovuga
  • W Matuja
  • C Kihamia
  • T Löscher
  • AS Winkler
  • G Bretzel
Keywords: Taenia solium, cysticercosis, neurocysticercosis, antigen, immunoblot


Background: Taenia solium metacestodes/cysts obtained from pig carcasses constitute a primary source for diagnostic tools used for the detection of human cysticercosis. Data on T. solium cyst preparation in Africa is still scarce but required to establish independent reference laboratories.
Objectives: The aim of the present study is a) to present the likely yield of T. solium cyst material by the use of two different preparation methods in the field and b) to investigate its suitability for immunodiagnosis of human cysticercosis.
Methods: In Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania 670 pigs were screened for T. solium infection. Cysts were prepared by `shaking method´ and ‘washing method’. Generated crude antigens were applied in a standard western blot assay.
Results: 46 out of 670 pigs (6.9%) were found positive for T. solium  (Zambia: 12/367, 3.3%; Uganda: 11/217, 5.1%; Tanzania 23/86, 26.7%). Mean values of 77.7 ml whole cysts, 61.8 ml scolices/membranes and 10.9 ml cyst fluid were obtained per pig. Suitability of collected material for the use as crude antigen and molecular diagnostic techniques was demonstrated.
Conclusion: This study clearly shows that T. solium cyst preparation in African settings by simple field methods constitutes an effective way to obtain high quality material as source for diagnostic tools and research purposes.

Keywords: Taenia solium, cysticercosis, neurocysticercosis, antigen, immunoblot


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eISSN: 1680-6905