Review Article| Volume 441, 120393, October 15, 2022

The prevalence of and contributors to neurocysticercosis in endemic regions

Published:August 29, 2022DOI:


      • Taenia solium is a pork tapeworm, whose larval stage can cause neurocysticercosis.
      • Neurocysticercosis is a frequent cause of acquired epilepsy in endemic regions.
      • Risk factors include substandard pig farming practices, open defecation, and contaminated water.
      • Additional barriers include improper medical diagnosis and treatment and health illiteracy.
      • The incidence of neurocysticercosis can be reduced by addressing these underlying factors.



      Neurocysticercosis is one of the most common causes of acquired epilepsy worldwide. Caused by Taenia solium, the infection uses pigs as an intermediate host and thus is often associated with proximity to and consumption of pigs.


      This review explores the epidemiology of neurocysticercosis in endemic regions across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and examines common risk factors in these areas.


      A literature review was conducted using pubmed to search for articles with key words including neurocysticercosis, Taenia, solium, epidemiology, and the names of countries and continents in the regions of interest.


      Multiple risk factors for neurocysticercosis were identified, including inadequate regulation of pig farms and food safety, poor sanitation, and water contamination. In addition, additional barriers to appropriate diagnosis and management were found, including resource limitations and poor health literacy.


      Despite its global prevalence, effective limitation of neurocysticercosis is still achievable through projects which address common risk factors.


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