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OBJECTIVE: To assess the contribution of neurocysticercosis (NCC) to the burden of epilepsy in a rural Tanzanian population. METHODS: We identified adult people with epilepsy (PWE) in a door-to-door study in an established demographic surveillance site. PWE and community controls were tested for antibodies to Taenia solium, the causative agent of NCC, and all PWE were offered a computed tomography (CT) head scan. Data on household occupancy and sanitation, pig-keeping and pork consumption were collected from PWE and controls and associations with epilepsy were assessed using chi-square or Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS: Six of 218 PWE had antibodies to T. solium (2.8%; 95% CI 0.6-4.9), compared to none of 174 controls (Fisher's exact test, P = 0.04). Lesions compatible with NCC were seen in eight of 200 CT scans (4.0%; 95% CI 1.3-6.7). A total of 176 PWE had both investigations of whom two had positive serology along with NCC-compatible lesions on CT (1.1%; 95% 0.3-4.0). No associations between epilepsy and any risk factors for NCC were identified. CONCLUSIONS: Neurocysticercosis is present in this population but at a lower prevalence than elsewhere in Tanzania and sub-Saharan Africa. Insights from low-prevalence areas may inform public health interventions designed to reduce the burden of preventable epilepsy.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/tmi.12529

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trop Med Int Health

Publication Date

09/2015

Volume

20

Pages

1171 - 1179

Keywords

Afrique subsahararienne, Tanzania, Tanzanie, cisticercosis, cysticercose, cysticercosis, epilepsia, epilepsy, imagerie neurologique, neuroimagen, neuroimaging, serology, serología, sub-Saharan Africa, sérologie, África subsahariana, épilepsie