Neuroparasitic infections: cestodes, trematodes, and protozoans

Semin Neurol. 2005 Sep;25(3):262-77. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-917663.


Parasitic infection of the nervous system can produce a variety of symptoms and signs. Because symptoms of infection are often mild or nonspecific, diagnosis can be difficult. Familiarity with basic epidemiological characteristics and distinguishing radiographic findings can increase the likelihood of detection and proper treatment of parasitic infection of the nervous system. This article discusses the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment for some of the more common infections of the nervous system caused by cestodes, trematodes and protozoans: Echinococcus spp., Spirometra spp. (sparganosis), Paragonimus spp., Schistosoma spp., Trypanosoma spp., Naegleria fowlerii, Acanthamoeba histolytica, and Balamuthia mandrillaris.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cestode Infections / diagnosis
  • Cestode Infections / drug therapy
  • Cestode Infections / epidemiology
  • Cestode Infections / parasitology*
  • Cestode Infections / pathology
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / parasitology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Protozoan Infections / diagnosis
  • Protozoan Infections / drug therapy
  • Protozoan Infections / epidemiology
  • Protozoan Infections / parasitology*
  • Protozoan Infections / pathology
  • Trematode Infections / diagnosis
  • Trematode Infections / drug therapy
  • Trematode Infections / epidemiology
  • Trematode Infections / parasitology*
  • Trematode Infections / pathology