High Prevalence of Asymptomatic Neurocysticercosis in an Endemic Rural Community in Peru

Luz M. Moyano, Seth E. O’Neal, Viterbo Ayvar, Guillermo Gonzalvez, Ricardo Gamboa, Percy Vilchez, Silvia Rodriguez, Joe Reistetter, Victor C.W. Tsang, Robert H. Gilman, Armando E. Gonzalez, Hector H. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Neurocysticercosis is a common helminthic infection of the central nervous system and an important cause of adult-onset epilepsy in endemic countries. However, few studies have examined associations between neurologic symptoms, serology and radiographic findings on a community-level. Methodology: We conducted a population-based study of resident’s ≥2 years old in a highly endemic village in Peru (pop. 454). We applied a 14 -question neurologic screening tool and evaluated serum for antibodies against Taenia solium cysticercosis using enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (LLGP-EITB). We invited all residents ≥18 years old to have non-contrast computerized tomography (CT) of the head. Principal findings: Of the 385 residents who provided serum samples, 142 (36.9%) were seropositive. Of the 256 residents who underwent CT scan, 48 (18.8%) had brain calcifications consistent with NCC; 8/48 (17.0%) reported a history of headache and/or seizures. Exposure to T. solium is very common in this endemic community where 1 out of 5 residents had brain calcifications. However, the vast majority of people with calcifications were asymptomatic. Conclusion: This study reports a high prevalence of NCC infection in an endemic community in Peru and confirms that a large proportion of apparently asymptomatic residents have brain calcifications that could provoke seizures in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0005130
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
LMM was supported by a scholarship of the Franco Peruvian School of Life Sciences (PhD program) from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. LMM received support from FIC/NIH Training Grant TW001140. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Moyano et al.

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