Animal Health Research Reviews

Review Article

Human and porcine Taenia solium infections in Mozambique: identifying research priorities

S. M. S. Afonsoa1, Y. Vaza2, L. Nevesa3, A. Pondjaa1, G. Diasa1, A. L. Willingham IIIa4, M. Vilhenaa5, P. C. Duartea6a7, C. C. Josta7 c1 and E. V. Noormahomeda8a9

a1 Veterinary Faculty, Eduardo Mondlane University, Av. de Moçambique 1,5 Km, Maputo, Mozambique

a2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Technical University of Lisbon – TULisbon, Av. da Universidade, Técnica 1300-477, Lisbon, Portugal

a3 Biotechnology Centre, Eduardo Mondlane University, Av. de Moçambique 1,5 Km, Maputo, Mozambique

a4 WHO/FAO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training on Neglected and Other Parasitic Zoonoses, Section for Parasitology, Health and Development, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Dyrlaegevej 100, Frederiksberg C 1870, Denmark

a5 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Évora, Pólo da Mitra Ap. 94, 7002-554, Portugal

a6 Secretariat of International Affairs (SRI), Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA), PqEB, Av. W3 Norte (Final) – Edifício Sede, 70770-901 Brasília-DF, Brasil

a7 International Livestock Research Institute, P.O. Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

a8 Medical Faculty, Eduardo Mondlane University, Av. Salvador Allende 702, Maputo, Mozambique

a9 School of Medicine, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0602, La Jolla, CA 92093-0602, USA


The objective of this paper is to critically review and summarize available scientific and lay literature, and ongoing studies on human and porcine cysticercosis in Mozambique to identify knowledge gaps and direct immediate and long-term research efforts. Data on the spatial distribution and prevalence of the disease in human and swine populations are scarce and fragmented. Human serological studies have shown that 15–21% of apparently healthy adults were positive for cysticercosis antibodies or antigen, while in neuropsychiatric patients seroprevalence was as high as 51%. Slaughterhouse records indicate a countrywide occurrence of porcine cysticercosis, while studies have shown that 10–35% of pigs tested were seropositive for cysticercosis antibodies or antigen. Current research in Mozambique includes studies on the epidemiology, molecular biology, diagnosis and control of the disease. Future research efforts should be directed at better understanding the epidemiology of the disease in Mozambique, particularly risk factors for its occurrence and spread in human and swine populations, documenting the socio-economic impact of the disease, identifying critical control points and evaluating the feasibility and epidemiological impact of control measures and development of local level diagnostic tools for use in humans and swine.

(Received January 18 2011)

(Accepted May 14 2011)

(Online publication June 15 2011)


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: