Neurocysticercosis: Leading Cause of Acquired Epilepsy Worldwide

Neurocysticercosis: Leading Cause of Acquired Epilepsy Worldwide | Source: Medscape, August 1 2016 |

Hello. I am Dr Paul Cantey, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I am pleased to be speaking with you today as part of the CDC Expert Commentary Series on Medscape. Today I will be discussing neglected parasitic infections (NPIs), specifically neurocysticercosis.


Scolex of T solium. Image courtesy of CDC DPDx.

First, a little background on NPIs. NPIs are a group of five parasitic infections in the United States, which are targeted by CDC as priorities for public health action based on the number of people infected, the severity of the illnesses, and the ability to prevent and treat them. These diseases include Chagas disease, cysticercosis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, and trichomoniasis.

Cysticercosis is infection with the encysted larval form of Taenia solium, or pork tapeworm.

Cysticercosis and Neurocysticercosis

Cysticercosis is endemic in developing countries where pigs are raised in close contact with humans and sanitation is poor, including areas in Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, infection is most common in persons who have immigrated from or traveled extensively to endemic areas.

Read the complete article.

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