Human cysticercosis is caused by the larvae of T solium (Cysticercus cellulosae).

Life cycle of T solium

The definitive host  is human that acquires infection by consuming larval cysts in the uncooked tissues of Pig.  Pig is the intermediate host. For T solium humans serve as either intermediate or definitive hosts. 

In Swine (intermediate host)

In human (intermediate host and definitive host)

Individuals who ingest T. solium eggs develop tissue infection with  parasite cysts (cysticercosis), while those who ingest larval cysts acquire 'pork' tape worm, i.e., the adult form of T. solium. 

Pork tapeworm



Prevalence rates are high in  Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Spain, and Portugal.

Although most cases of cysticercosis in the United States have been imported from Mexico and Central and South America, cysticercosis in the United States can be acquired from index cases who recently immigrated from an endemic area and still have T solium intestinal stage infection.

Clinical Manifestations:



Drug therapy is the treatment of choice. High doses of praziquantel (50 mg/kg per day for 15-30 days), or albendazole (10-15 mg/kg per day  for 8 days) results in drug levels sufficient to kill remaining living cysts. 

Cyst death is often accompanied by increased local inflammation  at the site of infection, leading to a transient increase in symptoms. 

The use of dexamethasone to reduce CNS inflammation is  controversial, as it may lower praziquantel levels. 

Surgical  therapy may be required especially for cysts outside the CNS.

Control Measures: