The epidemiology of porcine Taenia solium cysticercosis in communities of the Central Highlands in Vietnam.

Ng-Nguyen D, Noh J, Breen K, Stevenson MA, Handali S, Traub RJ


Taenia solium cysticercosis, recognized as a neglected tropical disease by the WHO, is distributed mostly in developing countries of Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Pigs and humans act as intermediate hosts, acquiring T. solium cysticerci (larval stage) in their tissue, through the ingestion of T. solium eggs shed in the faeces of humans infected with adult tapeworms. The disease has a negative impact on rural economies due to losses in productivity arising from human disease, pork carcass condemnations and loss of market access. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of T. solium cysticercosis in pigs in Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands of Vietnam and to identify household level characteristics associated with T. solium porcine cysticercosis.


This was a cross-sectional study of household pigs in three districts of Dak Lak Province. A total of 408 households in six villages in three districts were visited between June and October 2015. A questionnaire was administered to the head of each household, and within each household, serum samples were collected from three pigs. Serum samples were analyzed using the recombinant T24H antigen in enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot assay and lentil lectin purified glycoprotein in EITB assay. A Bayesian, mixed-effects logistic regression model was developed to identify management factors associated with the probability of a household having at least one cysticercosis-positive pig.


The prevalence of porcine T. solium cysticercosis in this study was low at 0.94 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51-1.68] cases per 100 pigs at risk, in agreement with other studies conducted throughout Vietnam. Scavenging of food and coprophagy were associated with T. solium cysticercosis [odds ratios 1.98 (95% CrI: 0.55-4.74) and 2.57 (95% CrI: 1.22-4.66), respectively].


This study proves that the seroprevalence of porcine cysticercosis in Dak Lak Province was as low as that of other studies conducted throughout Vietnam. Scavenging of food and coprophagy are modifiable factors, providing the opportunity to decrease the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis further in the province.