Potential eradicability of taeniasis and cysticercosis

Bull Pan Am Health Organ. 1993;27(4):397-403.


PIP: Taeniasis and cysticercosis are, respectively, infections with the adult and larval stages of tapeworm parasites belonging to the genus Taenia. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Taenia infections afflict approximately 50 million people annually and kill 50,000. One may assume all of these deaths to be the result of T. solium neurocysticercosis. Taenia infections also lead to the death of many cattle and swine, and resulting substantial economic losses. Swine and cattle serve as the intermediate hosts for the larval stage tapeworm parasites, while humans are the obligatory final stage hosts. Humans become infected with Taenia by ingesting raw or inadequately cooked meat of infected intermediate hosts. Mature tapeworms then produce eggs in the human hosts which are excreted and eventually consumed by animal hosts. The prevalence of Taenia is highest in the rural areas of Latin American, Asia, and Africa, but the parasites are vulnerable to eradication. More success has been had in thwarting the spread of T. solium than T. saginata. Sections briefly discuss the biology and transmission of Taenia; the medical and veterinary impacts; prevalence and distribution; the case for eradication; current strategies; remaining barriers; news tools and knowledge; and research and planning needs. Current strategies include long- and short-term interventions developed by the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization based upon the mass treatment of taeniasis in existing transmission foci.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cysticercosis / epidemiology
  • Cysticercosis / prevention & control*
  • Cysticercosis / transmission
  • Cysticercosis / veterinary
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Pan American Health Organization
  • Prevalence
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology
  • Swine Diseases / prevention & control
  • Swine Diseases / transmission
  • Taeniasis / epidemiology
  • Taeniasis / prevention & control*
  • Taeniasis / transmission
  • Taeniasis / veterinary
  • World Health Organization