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Parasitol Res. 1990;76(3):263-9.

Praziquantel treatment of porcine brain and muscle Taenia solium cysticercosis. 1. Radiological, physiological and histopathological studies.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas, UNAM, Mexico, D.F., Mexico.


Porcine Taenia solium cysticercosis, recognized as a model of the human disease, was used to analyze the effect of the anthelminthic drug praziquantel on hosts and parasites. The drug (50 mg/kg daily) was given over 15 days in the feed of 13 cysticercotic and 9 control pigs. Changes in the number, size and appearance of brain parasites were seen by computerized tomography immediately after the last dose of praziquantel, although not all cysticerci had disappeared by day 47 following the end of the treatment. Muscle parasites became small and hyperdense shortly after treatment and disappeared from tomographic images afterwards. No alterations were found in EEGs or in brain-stem auditory and somatosensory evoked potentials. Muscle cysticerci showed increasing degrees of degeneration with time after treatment, and an augmented inflammatory reaction was concomitantly observed. In contrast, more heterogeneous results were obtained in parasites lodged in the brain, since viable cysts and less intense inflammatory reactions were found in the brain at different times after treatment. Physiological evaluation of the parasites showed that evagination was inhibited immediately after treatment and that oxygen consumption decreased with time. The results of this investigation suggest that praziquantel damages cysticerci and that the inflammatory reaction destroys and eliminates them.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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