Cuentepec is a rural village of central Mexico, where 1300 pigs were bred at the time of the study in conditions that favor Taenia solium transmission. The tongues of 1087 (84%) of these pigs were visually examined and 33% were found to be cysticercotic. Castration of male pigs increased prevalence from 23 to 50% (P < 0.001) and pregnancy in sows also increased their prevalence from 28 to 59% (P < 0.001). Thus, endocrinological conditions characterized by low levels of androgens or high levels of female hormones probably influence the susceptibility of pigs to T. solium cysticercosis as observed in mice infected with Taenia crassiceps. Delaying castration of male pigs and confinement of sows during pregnancy might significantly decrease the prevalence of pig-cysticercosis and help curb transmission without much cost or difficulty.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.