Cysticercosis : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

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

Overview, Causes, & 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.

Pictures & Images

Digestive system organs

The digestive system organs in the abdominal cavity include the liver, gallbladder, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.


Review Date : 9/1/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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