Abstract

Mass treatment of the human population with niclosamide was carried out in 2 villages in rural Guatemala where Taenia solium was endemic, to determine how this would affect the epidemiology of the parasite. Intestinal taeniasis was diagnosed by microscopy and coproantigen testing, and porcine cysticercosis by a specific Western blot. Before mass treatment, the prevalence of human taeniasis was 3·5%; 10 months after treatment it was 1%, a significant decrease (P < 10−4. All tapeworms that could be identified to the species level were T. solium. Similarly, the seroprevalence of antibodies to cysticercosis in pigs declined from 55% before treatment to 7% 10 months after treatment, once again a significant decrease (P < 10−6). These effects were seen in both villages. The possible use of mass chemotherapy as a tool in the control of T. solium is discussed.

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