High prevalence of taeniasis and Taenia solium cysticercosis in children in western Sichuan, China.Acta Trop. 2019 Nov; 199:105133.AT
Data in China on human Taenia infections, including Taenia solium cysticercosis, is largely lacking. We aimed to determine the prevalence of taeniasis with all three human Taenia species as well as T. solium cysticercosis in primary school-aged children in minority areas of western Sichuan, China. During April 2016 to December 2017, we did a cross-sectional study in five western Sichuan Province primary schools in Liangshan (3 schools), Ganzi (1 school) and Aba (1 school) prefectures. Diagnosis of taeniasis was made by stool microscopy for presence of Taenia eggs, as well as recovery of taeniid tapeworms or proglottids by medicinal treatment followed by species identification using multiplex PCR. Diagnosis of T. solium cysticercosis was made serologically using an ELISA with low-molecular-weight antigens purified from T. solium cyst fluid to detect specific IgG antibodies. A total of 1672 children were screened for taeniasis and 1639 were evaluated for cysticercosis antibodies. Overall prevalence of taeniasis was 7.5% but was as high as 15.6% at one school site (e.g., Shuiluo). Of the three known human Taenia species, adult T. solium tapeworms were detected in 42 children from four of the five schools (all three schools in Liangshan and one in Aba), giving a prevalence of T. solium taeniasis of 2.5% (95% confidence interval 0-6.7%). Cysticercosis antibody seropositivity by school varied from 2.3% to 15.6% (overall 7.5%). T. solium taeniasis carriers were more likely to have cysticercosis antibodies than children without T. solium taeniasis (43.6% vs 6.6%). Schools with higher prevalences of T. solium taeniasis were more likely to have children with human cysticercosis IgG antibodies. This study shows a high prevalence of taeniasis and T. solium cysticercosis in primary school-aged children in minority areas of western Sichuan, suggesting an urgent necessity for school-based disease control.