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Cysticercosis and taeniasis cases diagnosed at two referral medical institutions, Belgium, 1990 to 2015

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Background: Few case reports on human infections with the beef tapeworm Taenia saginata and the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, diagnosed in Belgium have been published, yet the grey literature suggests a higher number of cases. Aim: To identify and describe cases of taeniasis and cysticercosis diagnosed at two Belgian referral medical institutions from 1990 to 2015. Methods: In this observational study we retrospectively gathered data on taeniasis and cysticercosis cases by screening laboratory, medical record databases as well a uniform hospital discharge dataset. Results: A total of 221 confirmed taeniasis cases were identified. All cases for whom the causative species could be determined (170/221, 76.9%) were found to be T. saginata infections. Of those with available information, 40.0% were asymptomatic (26/65), 15.4% reported diarrhoea (10/65), 9.2% reported anal discomfort (6/65) and 15.7% acquired the infection in Belgium (11/70). Five definitive and six probable cases of neurocysticercosis (NCC), and two cases of non-central nervous system cysticercosis (non-CNS CC) were identified. Common symptoms and signs in five of the definitive and probable NCC cases were epilepsy, headaches and/or other neurological disorders. Travel information was available for of the 13 NCC and non-CNS CC cases; two were Belgians travelling to and eight were immigrants or visitors travelling from endemic areas. Conclusions: The current study indicates that a non-negligible number of taeniasis cases visit Belgian medical facilities, and that cysticercosis is occasionally diagnosed in international travellers.
Journal: EuroSurveillance Monthly
ISSN: 1560-7917
Volume: 24
Pages: 23 - 32
Publication year:2019