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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2008 Jun;102(4):325-33. doi: 10.1179/136485908X300788.

Population-based survey of taeniasis along the United States-Mexico border.

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  • 1University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Taenia solium and T. saginata are zoonotic tapeworms of substantial medical and economic importance. Although human taeniasis is widely recognised as an endemic problem in Mexico, its presence in the United States is poorly understood. The first population-based study to estimate the prevalence of human infection with Taenia tapeworms along the Texas-Mexico border has recently been conducted. Households were interviewed in the Texan city of El Paso and in the neighbouring Ciudad Juárez, in Mexico. Faecal samples from household members were then checked for Taenia eggs by flotation and/or for Taenia copro-antigens in an ELISA. The overall prevalence of taeniasis in this border region was found to be 3% but, compared with the residents of Juárez, El Paso residents were 8.6-fold more likely to be tapeworm carriers. The interviews revealed some important differences between the two study sites, particularly the more frequent use of anthelminthic drugs on the Mexican side of the border. These findings have implications in terms of the planning of effective health-education campaigns to decrease the prevalence of taeniasis in the human populations along the Texas-Mexico border.

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