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Acta Trop. 2003 Jun;87(1):53-60.

Taenia solium taeniosis/cysticercosis in Asia: epidemiology, impact and issues.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore 632 004, India. rajshekhar@cmcvellore.ac.in

Abstract

Several reports of patients with cysticercosis from many countries in Asia such as India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan and Nepal are a clear indicator of the wide prevalence of Taenia solium cysticercosis and taeniosis in these and other Asian countries. However, epidemiological data from community based studies are sparse and available only for a few countries in Asia. Cysticercosis is the cause of epilepsy in up to 50% of Indian patients presenting with partial seizures. It is also a major cause of epilepsy in Bali (Indonesia), Vietnam and possibly China and Nepal. Seroprevalence studies indicate high rates of exposure to the parasite in several countries (Vietnam, China, Korea and Bali (Indonesia)) with rates ranging from 0.02 to 12.6%. Rates of taeniosis, as determined by stool examination for ova, have also been reported to range between 0.1 and 6% in the community in India, Vietnam, China, and Bali (Indonesia). An astonishingly high rate of taeniosis of 50% was reported from an area in Nepal populated by pig rearing farmers. In addition to poor sanitation, unhealthy pig rearing practices, low hygienic standards, unusual customs such as consumption of raw pork is an additional factor contributing to the spread of the disease in some communities of Asia. Undoubtedly, cysticercosis is a major public health problem in several Asian countries effecting several million people by not only causing neurological morbidity but also imposing economic hardship on impoverished populations. However, there are wide variations in the prevalence rates in different regions and different socio-economic groups in the same country. It is important to press for the recognition of cysticercosis as one of the major public health problems in Asia that needs to be tackled vigorously by the governments and public health authorities of the region.

PMID:
12781378
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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