Taenia solium pork tapeworm is one of the parasites that causes serious public health and socioeconomic problems in developing countries. In Northern Uganda, extreme level of poverty, lack of sanitation infrastructure and communities’ practice of free range pig farming provide suitable condition for survival of T. solium in the area. Additionally, increased cases of epilepsy are of serious concern. The aim of the study was to determine the proportion of patients with epilepsy who are positive for metacestodes of T. solium antigens and anticysticercal IgG antibodies in three districts of Northern Uganda. Forty two thousand nine hundred three participants were screened for epileptic seizures. Three hundred random samples were screened for anticysticercal IgG and circulating antigens using indirect antibody and monoclonal antibody ELISAs. Samples positive for anticysticercal IgG were confirmed using western blot. The seroprevalence of anticysticercal IgG and circulating antigens among patients samples using indirect antibody ELISA and monoclonal antibody ELISA was 15% (95% CI = 14.5-15.5 and 9% (95% CI 8.5-9.5) respectively. Thirteen, 13% (95%CI = 12.5-13.5) of patient samples were positive for T. solium specific glycoprotein on immunoblot. There was no significance difference (P = 0.057) in seroprevalence of anticysticrecal IgG and circulating antigens between males and females. This finding indicates that T. solium infections occur among communities in three rural districts of Northern Uganda. There is a potential for proliferation of pork tape worm infections among the communities. Therefore, there is need for Health authorities to strengthen training of health workers and enforcement of public health education in the community on epilepsy associated with neurocysticercosis.
Key words: Neurocysticercosis, seroprevalence, westernblot, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISAs), rural communities, Northern Uganda.
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