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Diagnostic methods

Parasitological diagnosis
Cysticerci (tapeworm larvae) of T. solium occur in the muscle and in the brain (in humans as intermediate hosts).
Subcutaneous cysticerci may be visible or palpable.
Cysticerci may also be detected by non-invasive methods like CT scan and MRI, or when calcified, by X-ray.
Histology reveals cysticerci in biopsies.

Molecular diagnosis
No tests developed so far

Antigen detection
First attempts to detect antigens in cerebrospinal fluid have been described

Antibody detection
Diagnosis of cysticercosis should be supported by a serological test. Serum antibody detection in cysticercosis is done with immunoassays (enzyme-linked immunotransfer blots, EITB). No advantage was observed using cerebrospinal fluid.


Diagnostic strategies

  1. To diagnose a symptomatic patient
    For neurocysticercosis, imaging techniques should be combined with serology. Subcutaneous cysticerci may be visible or palpable, or when already calcified, detectable by X-ray.
  2. To screen an exposed population
    Serology is the method of choice