Cysticercosis is a parasitic infection caused by the larval cysts of the pork tapeworm Taenia solium. These cysts can infect multiple tissues in the body. Neurocysticercosis, the disease that results when the infection occurs in the brain, is the major cause of adult seizures in Latin America and a leading cause of adult- onset seizures in low-income countries all over the world.
Cysticercosis is transmitted via the fecal-oral method. The process begins with one person eating infected, undercooked pork, acquiring a tapeworm infection, and then shedding eggs in his or her feces. If those eggs are ingested by this person or another human, cysticercosis ensues.
In this way, poor hygiene facilitates cysticercosis. Similarly, poor food safety practices perpetuate both the tapeworm infections and the cysticercosis transmission cycle. Through a combination of research, education and improved infrastructure, PAZ is working to reduce the disease burden of cysticercosis in Northern Peru.
Pan American Zoonotic Research and Prevention (PAZ) is working to control cysticercosis in Northern Peru. Please click here (or on Brigitte in the left column) to donate!