Magnitude of the disease burden from neurocysticercosis in a developing country

Caryn Bern, Hector H. Garcia, Carlton Evans, Armando E. Gonzalez, Manuela Verastegui, Victor C.W. Tsang, Robert H. Gilman

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167 Scopus citations


Cysticercosis contributes to higher epilepsy rates in developing countries than in industrialized ones, yet no estimate exists for the associated burden of disease. We used epidemiological data on neurocysticercosis in Peru to calculate the burden of disease and applied our model to the other countries of Latin America where neurocysticercosis is endemic to determine a regional estimate. Analysis of 12 population-based community studies demonstrated that neurocysticercosis was endemic in highland areas and high jungles, with seroprevalences from 6% to 24%. In one community, the adult seizure disorder rate was 9.1% among seropositive persons versus 4.6% among seronegative persons; we used this difference for estimates. On the basis of average prevalence rates in areas of endemicity of 6%-10%, we estimated that there are 23,512-39,186 symptomatic neurocysticercosis cases in Peru. In Latin America, an estimated 75 million persons live in areas where cysticercosis is endemic, and ~400,000 have symptomatic disease. Cysticercosis contributes substantially to neurological disease in Peru and in all of Latin America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1209
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support: Many of the studies of the Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru cited in this article were supported by National Institutes of Health grant 1-UO1-AI-35894-01; Fogarty International Center training grant 5D43TW0001008; Federal Drug Administration grant FD-R-001107-01; and Fogarty International Center collaborative award TW0059801A1.


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