Human cysticercosis (CC) is a parasitic zoonosis caused by the larval stage (cyst) of the Taenia solium. Cysts can establish in the human central nervous system (neurocysticercosis, NCC) and other organs and tissues; they also develop in pigs, the natural intermediate host. Human taeniosis may be caused by T. solium, Taenia saginata and Taenia asiatica tapeworms; these infections are usually asymptomatic, but show a significant relevance as they perpetuate the parasites' life cycle, and, in the case of T. solium, they are the origin of (N)CC. In European Union (EU) member states and associated countries, the occurrence of autochthonous T. solium cases is debated, and imported cases have significantly increased lately; the status of T. asiatica has been never reported, whereas T. saginata is prevalent and causes an economic impact due to condemned carcasses. Based on their effects on the EU society, the specific diagnosis of these pathologies is relevant for their prevention and control. The aims of this study were to know the diagnostic tests used in European laboratories for human taeniosis/cysticercosis by means of a questionnaire, to determine potential gaps in their detection, and to obtain preliminary data on the number of diagnosed taeniosis/CC cases.
Keywords: Cysticercosis; Laboratory diagnosis; Neurocysticercosis; Taenia saginata; Taenia solium; Taeniosis.