Cysticercosis

  • Definition

    Cysticercosis is an infection by a parasite called Taenia solium (T. solium), a pork tapeworm, that creates cysts in different areas in the body.

    See also: Teniasis


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Cysticercosis is caused by swallowing eggs from T. solium, which are found in contaminated food. Autoinfection is when a person is already infected with adult T. solium, then swallows eggs following improper hand washing after a bowel movement.

    Risk factors include eating pork, fruits, and vegetables contaminated with T. solium as a result of unhealthy cooking preparation. The disease can also be spread by contact with infected people or fecal matter.

    The disease is rare in the United States, but is common in many developing countries.