Pigs and Parasites: Developing Interventions to End Cycles of Poverty Caused by Taenia solium and Neurocysticercosis
Neurocysticercosis is a neglected infectious disease caused by larval forms of the pig tapeworm, Taenia solium, infecting people's brains. Millions of people living in low-income communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia are believed to be infected. Our earlier work in impoverished areas of Western China identified widespread disease, including brain infections and resulting cognitive deficits. The current research aims to identify transmission pathways and pilot interventions that will reduce transmission. Our long term goal is to develop a set of interventions that the Government of China can implement that will allow children to develop to their full cognitive potential free of neurologic disease and make small family farms more profitable — allowing poor communities to escape the cycle of poverty caused by this disease.