• Taenia solium transmission in a rural community in Honduras : an examination of risk factors and knowledge

      Pang, Haiyan.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2004-11-04)
      Taenia soliurn taeniasis and cysticercosis are recognized as a major public health problem in Latin America. T. soliurn transmission not only affects the health of the individual, but also social and economic development, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. To determine prevalence rates, population knowledge and risk factors associated with transmission, an epidemiological study was undertaken in the rural community of Jalaca. Two standardized questionnaires were used to collect epidemiological and T. soli urn general knowledge data. Kato-Katz technique and an immunoblot assay (EITB) were used to determine taeniasis and seroprevalence, respectively. In total, 139 individuals belonging to 56 households participated in the study. Household characteristics were consistent with conditions of poverty of rural Honduras: 21.4% had no toilet or latrines, 19.6% had earthen floor, and 51.8% lacked indoor tap water. Pigs were raised in 46.4% of households, of which 70% allowed their pigs roaming freely. A human seroprevalence rate of 18.7% and a taeniasis prevalence rate of 2.4% were found. Only four persons answered correctly 2: 6 out of ten T. soliurn knowledge questions, for an average passing score of 2.9%. In general, a serious gap exists in knowledge regarding how humans acquire the infections, especially neurocysticercosis was identified. After regression analysis, the ability to recognize adult tapeworms and awareness of the clinical importance of taeniasis, were found to be significant risk factors for T. soliurn seropositivity. These results demonstrate a high level of transmission and a low level of kn~,wledge about Taenia soliurn in Jalaca. Consequently, intervention measures integrated with health education are necessary to decrease the burden caused by this parasite.