Surveillance, prevention and control of taeniasis/cysticercosis

To prevent, control and possibly eliminate T. solium, proper public health interventions with an approach spanning veterinary and human health and environmental sectors are required. Interventions for the control of T. solium can be used in different combinations designed on the country needs and context:

  • access to preventive chemotherapy;
  • identification and treatment of taeniasis cases;
  • health education;
  • improved sanitation;
  • improved pig husbandry;
  • anthelmintic treatment of pigs;
  • vaccination of pigs;
  • improved meat inspection and processing of meat products.
Use of latrines, improved pig husbandry to avoid free-roaming of pigs and effective meat inspection are keys to control transmission of Taenia solium.

© Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, ILRI Ram Dek and ILRI Andrew Nguyen (from top to down)

Reliable epidemiological data on geographical distribution of T. solium taeniasis and cysticercosis in people and pigs is still scarce. Appropriate surveillance mechanisms should enable new cases of human or porcine cysticercosis to be recorded in order to help identify communities at high risk and focus prevention and control measures in these areas.

WHO has, with countries and key partners, taken the first steps towards identifying the “best-fit” strategy to interrupt transmission of T. solium and improve case detection and management of neurocysticercosis using the tools currently available. Several countries are mounting pilot programmes with the available tools while conducting operational research to measure impact and refine strategies. More countries are interested in joining the WHO network for the control of taeniasis/cysticercosis.