Human Taeniasis And Cysticercosis
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Human Taeniasis caused by the pork, Taenia solium, or beef, T saginata, tapeworm arises after eating pork or beef contaminated with metacestodes, the larval stage of these parasites. Taeniasis with T solium can lead to neurocysticercosis and threaten others by accidental ingestion of eggs released from asymptomatic Taeniasis patients. The 2003 World Health Assembly declared that T solium is of worldwide public-health importance, and that it is an eradicable parasitic disease worldwide. Adult taeniid tapeworms expelled from people in almost all Asian countries appeared to be T saginata (the so-called Asian Taenia), even though they ate pork. The organism is now named T asiatica, and has been found in Taiwan, Korea, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. But it has been difficult to differentiate T saginata from beef and Asian Taenia from pork. STARTING POINT: Marshall Lightowlers and colleagues (Int J Parasitol 2003; 33: 1207-17) recently demonstrated that recombinant oncosphere vaccines against several taeniid cestodes, including T ovis, T saginata, T solium, and Echinococcus granulosus, are highly effective. Protection was almost 100%, in the laboratory and in the field. These researchers found several common features, including a predicted secretory signal sequence, and one or two copies of a fibronectin type III domain, each encoded by separate exons within the associated gene. WHERE NEXT ? Molecular and immunological techniques, including vaccine research and development of animal models for differentiation of taeniid species in humans, have greatly advanced over the past decade. The clinical importance of infections by these taeniids, including T asiatica, in humans, and the potential for cysticercosis attributable to T asiatica in humans, needs further study.