There has been a significant increase in pig production in the Eastern and Southern
Africa region during the past decade (Githigia et al., 2002), (Thuranira, 2005),
especially in rural, resource-poor, small holder communities. Accompanying this has
been the emergence of porcine cysticercosis as a problem in many of these areas
including western Kenya (Mutua et al., 2006).
OBJECTIVES: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of
neurocysticercosis among epileptics in Busia District, Western Province, Kenya and
investigate the risk factors associated with neurocysticercosis (NCC).
METHODS: A group of 628 epileptics were identified using hospital and Special
School records, key informant interviews and snowball survey techniques and a
standard questionnaire to assess risk factors for neurocysticercosis or taeniasis,
administered. Household information was also collected and an asset index
formulated for each patient's household (n=471). Sera was taken from 630 subjects
and tested for exposure to T. solium using an antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent
assay (Ag ELISA). The sera was also tested using an antibody (Ab) ELISA which
tested for cysticercosis (metacestode exposure) and enzyme-linked immunotrarisfer
blot assay (EITB, Western Blot) which tested for taeniasis and cysticercosis.
Univariate and multivariate analysis was conducted to investigate the factors
associated with seropositivity.
RESULTS: There was one positive case of neurocysticercosis found by Ag
ELISA and 209 subjects tested positive for exposure by Ab ELISA. There were 10
positive results using the EITB, 6 were positive using ES38 and 4 using Lentil Lectin
purified glycoprotein (LLPG).
CONCLUSION: T. solium infections have multiple societal impacts including human
health and productivity as well as livestock production and there needs to be further
investigation into the burden of the disease.