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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 202-203  

Prevalence and risk factors for Taenia solium taeniasis in Kaniyambadi block, Tamil Nadu, South India

1 Professor, Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Research Officer, Department of of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Research Fellow, Kamineni Life Sciences, Hyderabad, India
4 Professor, Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
5 Professor, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
6 Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication13-Aug-2014

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Venkata Raghava Mohan
Professor, Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 002, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.138638

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How to cite this article:
Mohan VR, Jayaraman T, Babu P, Dorny P, Vercruysse J, Rajshekhar V. Prevalence and risk factors for Taenia solium taeniasis in Kaniyambadi block, Tamil Nadu, South India. Indian J Public Health 2014;58:202-3

How to cite this URL:
Mohan VR, Jayaraman T, Babu P, Dorny P, Vercruysse J, Rajshekhar V. Prevalence and risk factors for Taenia solium taeniasis in Kaniyambadi block, Tamil Nadu, South India. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Dec 4];58:202-3. Available from:


Teniasis is an intestinal disease acquired by ingestion of viable Taenia solium larvae from pork, while cysticercosis is acquired by the ingestion of T. solium eggs. [1] Cysticercosis is endemic in many developing countries. [2] At any given time, up to 6% of the population in endemic regions may harbour adult T. solium tapeworms. [3] This study aims at estimating the burden of teniasis using a coproantigen assay, to determine the rate of worm expulsion after treatment and to study the risk factors for acquiring teniasis in a seizure free population from Kaniyambadi block of Vellore District, India.

The first phase of the stool sampling was done between March 2004 and January 2005. The sample size was estimated using a cluster based design with the expected proportion of teniasis being 20%, with a 5% precision and a design effect of two to detect intercluster variability. To ensure representativeness from different clusters, 20 clusters and 20 households per cluster were selected by employing a simple two stage cluster sampling technique. The second phase of stool sampling was conducted in the year 2008 by excluding the villages from the earlier phase. A total of 1025 early morning stool samples were collected from the study population aged between 2 and 60 years from the two phases. Coproantigen assay was used to diagnose cases of taeniasis. [4]

The prevalence of teniasis was 29.3/1000 population (95% confidence interval: 18.6-40) (30/1025) and the prevalence in the individual clusters ranged from 0 to 133/1000. The prevalence rates were 30.4/1000 (17.4-43.3) and 26.6/1000 (7.8-45.4) during the years 2004-2005 and 2008, respectively. The prevalence of teniasis among men was 37/1000 (20-53.3), and 21.5/1000 (8.5-34.5) among women, which was not statistically significant. Taenia solium proglottids were retrieved from 2 of the 24 persons treated with niclosamide, giving a worm expulsion rate of 20% (2/10) for the 10 persons in whom the treatment was given within 7 months after stool testing. The repeat coproantigen test done within a month of treatment was negative in all the 24 individuals. Exploratory data analysis looking at various risk factors for teniasis revealed an odds ratio of >1 (statistically not significant) for male gender, those educated up to primary school, people living in thatched or mud houses, those who were unemployed or doing unskilled work, the presence of free roaming pigs and history of pork consumption at the village level. Families with any other member having Neurocysticercosis had significantly higher burden of teniasis (33.3% vs. 2.8%) [Table 1].
Table 1: Risk factors analysis for T. solium teniasis

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Human infection with pork tapeworm is a public health problem in rural Southern India as evidenced by the high prevalence rates of neurocysticercosis and the seroprevalence of cysticercal antibodies. However, the prevalence of coproantigen positivity, an index of tapeworm carrier state, is low with an even lower proglottid expulsion rate. Our findings suggest that a low worm load in the community is adequate to sustain the active transmission of human cysticercosis. Multiple strategies focusing on identifying and treating tapeworm carriers, improving people's awareness regarding personal hygiene and sanitation; improved animal husbandry practices and enforcement of stringent meat inspections are needed to control the problem of cysticercosis in India.

   Acknowledgments Top

The authors would like to thank the field staff Mr. Vijayakumar, Mr. Yesudass and Mr. Ethiraj for their help in conducting the field studies.

   References Top

1.Nash TE, Neva FA. Recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral cysticercosis. N Engl J Med 1984;311:1492-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Del Brutto OH. Neurocysticercosis. Curr Opin Neurol 1997;10:268-72.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Cruz M, Davis A, Dixon H, Pawlowski ZS, Proano J. Operational studies on the control of Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis in Ecuador. Bull World Health Organ 1989;67:401-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Allan JC, Velasquez-Tohom M, Torres-Alvarez R, Yurrita P, Garcia-Noval J. Field trial of the coproantigen-based diagnosis of Taenia solium taeniasis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Am J Trop Med Hyg 1996;54:352-6.  Back to cited text no. 4


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