Transmission of porcine cysticercosis in the Portuguesa state of Venezuela
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The aim of this study was to assess transmission of Taenia solium cysticercosis in Palmarito Arriba, a small village in the rural area of the Portuguesa state of Venezuela, through (1) an evaluation of T. solium transmission risk factors present in the community and (2) serological detection of the secreted metacestode HP10 antigen (HP10 Ag) and of anti-metacestode antibodies in sera from rural pigs. Risk factors associated with transmission of cysticercosis were the following: 100% (23/23) of the households lacked piped water, 87.0% (20/23) of households lacked latrines, 88.0% (100/114) of inhabitants routinely defecated in the open/air, 19.05% (12/63) of the interviewed population had observed proglottids in their stools. More significantly, 9/13 householders breeding pigs reported seeing proglottids in their stools. Of the 25 pigs available for bleeding and serological testing, 64% (16/25) were free roaming and 36% (9/25) were “backyard” animals; 28% (7/25) were seropositive for both the HP10 Ag and antibody, 20.0% (5/25) were seropositive for HP10 Ag alone, and 36.0% (9/25) were seropositive for antibody alone. Given this clear evidence of endemic porcine cysticercosis, further studies are needed to assess and control the level of porcine and human taeniasis and cysticercosis in this and neighboring communities.
KeywordsPorcine cysticercosis Taenia solium HP10 Ag ELISA Anti-cysticercal antibodies Risk factors Venezuela
We thank TSU Everlyn Salas for her commitment to the field work and the students and staff from Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas “Dr Francisco Triana-Alonso” of Carabobo University, the Veterinary Physician and animal health assistant from Instituto de Salud Agricola Integral (Lara) and the Zoonosis department staff, Sanitary District 9, Lara state. Finally, we are indebted to the population of Palmarito Arriba for their cooperation and kindness during the intervention phase of the project.
This work was financially supported by project 2012-000795 and 2012-000798, Fondo Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (Fonacit). Venezuela.
Compliance with ethical standards
Statement of animal rights
All animals were handled following the good animal practice as defined by the OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code for the use of animals in research and education (http://www.oie.int/index.php?id=169&L=0&htmfile=chapitre_aw_research_education.htm), and the guidelines provided by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/pig-ear-vein-non-surgical). All the pig owners provided signed informed consent for their participation. A single consent form was used for all study procedures, and prospective participants were given the opportunity to refuse to participate. Owners (normally the Head of household) were informed about the aim, risks, and benefit of the study as well as to the necessity of drawing blood samples from their pigs. After receiving permission, we worked with the pigs either outside or inside the house.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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