The epidemiology of Taenia spp. infection and Taenia solium cysticerci exposure in humans in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

Ng-Nguyen D, Stevenson MA, Breen K, Phan TV, Nguyen VT, Vo TV, Traub RJ


Vietnam is endemic for taeniasis and T. solium cysticercosis. Despite this, information on the epidemiological characteristics of the diseases in the Central Highlands of Vietnam are poorly described. The aims of this study were to determine the epidemiological characteristics of taeniasis (Taenia spp.) and T. solium cysticerci exposure in humans in Dak Lak province in the Central Highlands, Vietnam.


This cross-sectional study was carried out in six villages in three districts of Dak Lak. A total of 190 households were visited. From each household, between one and five individuals were asked to donate a single faecal and blood sample and respond to a questionnaire. Serum samples were subjected to lentil lectin purified glycoprotein enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot assay to detect antibodies against T. solium cysticerci. Multiplex real-time PCR was used to detect Taenia spp. infection in faecal samples. A fixed-effects logistic regression model was developed to identify factors associated with the probability of Taenia spp. infection or T. solium cysticerci exposure risk. The contribution of each of identified factor was quantified using population attributable fractions.


The prevalence of seroexposure to T. solium in Dak Lak was 5% (95% CI 3% to 8%). Consumption of raw vegetables, sourcing drinking water from lakes, streams or ponds and the practice of outdoor defaecation were identified as primary risk factors for the prevalence of T. solium cysticerci exposure, while consuming undercooked pork and beef, pork tongue and observing Taenia proglottids in stool were associated with Taenia spp. infection. Consumption of raw vegetables attributed to 74% of T. solium cysticerci exposure-positive cases and consumption of undercooked beef attributed to 77% of taeniasis cases in these communities.


The prevalence of T. solium seroexposure in Dak Lak is consistent with those reported in other regions of Vietnam. The identified risk factors associated with the prevalence of T. solium seroexposure and taeniasis infection in Dak Lak are modifiable and thus advocate for targeted community intervention programs to mitigating these risks.