Next generation sequencing based pathogen analysis in a patient with neurocysticercosis: a case report

BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 6;18(1):113. doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-3015-y.


Background: Accurate and early diagnosis of neurocysticercosis (NCC) remains a challenge due to the heterogeneity of its clinical, immunological and imaging characteristics. The presence of cysticercus DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of NCC patients has been previously detected via conventional PCR assays. To the best of our knowledge, the use of CSF Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) based pathogen analysis in patients with NCC infection has never been reported.

Case presentation: This study reports the clinical, imaging, and immunological features of a patient initially presenting with several months of headache who further developed a pure sensory stroke. NGS was used to detect the pathogen, and her CSF demonstrated the presence of Taenia solium-DNA. This finding was confirmed by a positive reaction to CSF cysticercosis antibodies. After antiparasitic treatment, secondary CSF NGS revealed the DNA index have dropped considerably compared to the initial NGS readings.

Conclusions: NGS is a promising tool for the early and accurate diagnosis of central nervous system (CNS) infection, especially in the setting of atypical clinical manifestations. Further studies are required to evaluate the persistence of DNA in the CSF of patients.

Keywords: Headache; Neurocysticercosis; Next generation sequencing; Sensory stroke; Taenia solium.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / administration & dosage
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • DNA, Helminth / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Female
  • Headache / parasitology
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neurocysticercosis / diagnosis*
  • Neurocysticercosis / drug therapy
  • Neurocysticercosis / etiology*
  • Praziquantel / administration & dosage
  • Praziquantel / therapeutic use
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / parasitology
  • Taenia solium / genetics*
  • Taenia solium / pathogenicity


  • Anthelmintics
  • DNA, Helminth
  • Praziquantel