Porcine cyticercosis in selected districts of Uganda: Prevalence, pathology and relationship with human epilepsy
Taenia solium is a cestode that is zoonotic with the adult tapeworms found in human being (taeniasis) and larval stage cysts found in pigs (Porcine cysticercosis) or in humans (human cysticercosis). It is therefore a great disease of economic and public health importance. There are many instances when porcine cysticercosis has been found at meat inspection in parts in Uganda. No detailed study had been carried out on T. solium infections in Uganda. The aims of this study were to determine; the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis, risk factors for the acquisition of the infection, T. solium diagnosis and control, pathology of T. solium infection in naturally infected pigs and the spatial distribution of human epilepsy with taeniasis and and porcine cysticercosis. A cross sectional study was carried out the Lake Kyoga basin, international border points and national pig abattoir at Wambizi. Laboratory serodiagnosis was also carried out to determine the antigen sero-prevalence. Lingual examination was carried out for lingual prevalence. The lingual prevalence of porcine cysitercosis ranged from 4% to 12.9% for the areas of study in the Lake Kyoga basin. The sero-prevalence was found to be 25.3% (95% confidence interval 21.0- 30.0%) with district sero-prevalence ranging from 20.3-33.9%. The risk factors were; contaminated water used in the households and animal use, improper handling of infected pigs and pork for human consumption, human open-air defecations, inadequate knowledge about T. solium infections in the communities, inadequate control measures by the Veterinary Authorities, free-range pig husbandry. There was a positive spatial relationship between porcine cysticercosis, taeniasis and human epilepsy. In pig carcasses, the infection could be found in the non-traditional sites hence the lesion is more wide spread than what is covered in ordinary meat inspections. Cytokine TNF-α storm was observed in terminally-ill cysticercotic pigs. In conclusion the results indicate that porcine cysticercosis was prevalent and endemic in the in study areas, therefore a great problem. The risk factors for the acquisition of T. solium infections, which are the ideal areas of intervention and control of T. solium infection, exist in the study areas. A positive spatial relationship of porcine cysticercosis and human epilepsy occurs. I therefore recommend that deliberate interventions to reduce the T. solium infections in the pig and human beings need to be carried out. A study to find prevalence of human cysticercosis should be carried out the role of T. solium infection in the human human epilepsy. A study about the genetic diversity of T. solium in Ugnda should be carried out.