Emergence of Cysticercosis, a neglected meat-borne notifiable zoonosis in Thika sub county of Kiambu county, Kenya
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The tapeworm Taenia solium, transmitted between humans and pigs, affects millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. The young form of the tape worm causes a tissue infection called cysticercosis and a specific effect called neurocysticercosis in humans affects the brain; and, is the most common cause of seizes - acquired epilepsy. In addition, infected pigs lead to considerable economic losses due to down grading or total condemnation of the carcass. Thika has been reported as the highest consumer of pork among Kenyan urban areas and a comprehensive survey of cysticercosis in the area had not been previously carried out. A study was done from May 2016 to June 2017 with the purpose to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with taeniosis and porcine cysticercosis in Thika Sub County. The specific objectives were to determine the prevalence and factors associated with Taenia solium taeniosis/ cysticercosis, prevalence of porcine cysticercosis in pig farms and seroprevalence of porcine cysticercosis in pigs slaughtered in abattoirs in Thika. Taeniosis was present among the community members with prevalence at 6.3 % while 13 cases of cysticercosis have been recorded in Thika Level 5 Hospital. The level of awareness among pig consumers and vendors on taeniosis/ cysticercosis was found to be low with fried pork being the most preferred method for pork preparation. Prevalence of porcine cysticercosis by lingual palpation was 1.81% among the farms surveyed and seroprevalence using antigen ELISA was1.83%. These results are significant in that they report on presence of porcine and human cysticercosis and therefore the need to control this important zoonosis in the area.