Journal of Helminthology

Preliminary Report

Seroprevalence of human Taenia solium cysticercosis in Haiti

C.P. Raccurta1 c1, P. Agnameya1, J. Boncya2, J.-H. Henrysa3 and A. Toteta1

a1 Service de parasitologie et mycologie médicales, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Centre hospitalier universitaire d'Amiens, Hôpital Sud, 80054- Amiens, France

a2 Laboratoire National de Santé Publique, Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population, Delmas 33, Port-au-Prince, Haïti

a3 Département de Santé Publique, Université Notre Dame d'Haïti, 6, rue Sapotille, Avenue N, Pacot, Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Abstract

Human Taenia solium cysticercosis is common in developing countries due to poor sanitary conditions and economics based on breeding livestock, especially pigs, with low hygiene standards. Neurocysticercosis, caused by migration of the larvae of the tapeworm in the nervous system, is the leading cause of acquired epilepsy in adults in Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa, and East and South Asia. This makes neurocysticercosis a large public health problem in developing countries. Two clinical cases of neurocysticercosis have been observed recently in Haiti. In order to evaluate the prevalence of human T. solium cysticercosis in this country, in 2007 we conducted a cross-sectional serological retrospective survey using a Western blotting test (LDBIO Diagnostics®) in Port-au-Prince, where sewage systems are rare and swine usually roam freely throughout the area. A total of 216 serum samples, obtained from healthy adults seen in the work setting of periodical medical visits, were tested after storage at − 20°C. The frequency of antibodies in serum samples of the study population was 2.8% (6/216). The immunodominant bands recognized in Western blots were 23–26 kDa (100%), 39 kDa (67%), 45 kDa and 6–8 kDa (50%), 50–55 kDa (33%). These results confirm for the first time an endemic situation of cysticercosis in humans in Haiti, with similar prevalence as that reported in other Latin American and African countries. It reinforces the urgent need for control and prevention measures to be taken by local public health services.

(Accepted December 23 2008)

(Online publication February 27 2009)

Correspondence:

c1 Fax: +33 (0) 322-455-653 E-mail: raccurt.christian@chu-amiens.fr; raccurt@yahoo.fr