Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-dc8c957cd-gcthh Total loading time: 0.471 Render date: 2022-01-26T23:28:34.022Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Taenia saginata taeniosis: copro-antigen time-course in a voluntary self-infection

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 June 2014

A. Tembo
Natural Resources Development College, PO Box 310099, Lusaka, Zambia Cestode Zoonoses Research Group, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, SalfordM54WT, UK
P.S. Craig*
Cestode Zoonoses Research Group, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, SalfordM54WT, UK


Human taeniosis due to Taenia saginata is cosmopolitan where beef is consumed; however, there is little or no information on the symptomatology over the early time-course of human infection. Copro-antigen detection is very useful in community screening for human taeniosis, particularly for T. solium, but there are no data on copro-antigen detection in pre-patent infection. In order to provide insight into this, a voluntary self-infection with T. saginata was undertaken and monitored over a 6-month period using a copro-antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that we developed using anti-T. saginata antibody based reagents. Tapeworm patency, defined as first proglottid appearance, occurred on day 86 post-infection (pi) and was followed by almost daily release of proglottids (range 1–8) until termination using praziquantel on day 180 pi. The first 10 weeks post-infection (wpi) were essentially asymptomatic, followed by main symptoms of involuntary proglottid discharge throughout the infection period, and abdominal discomfort peaking around 15–19 wpi. Copro-antigens could not be reliably detected until 2 weeks before proglottid patency but then remained highly elevated over the next 15 weeks until treatment. Copro-antigen levels reverted to negative 4 days post-treatment. This time-course study suggests that although copro-antigen ELISA is an excellent diagnostic tool for established patent infections of T. saginata, it may not be reliable for faecal antigen detection in the early infection phase prior to proglottid release for T. saginata and other human taenioses.

Research Papers
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Allan, J.C. & Craig, P.S. (1989) Coproantigens in gut tapeworm infections: Hymenolepis diminuta in rats. Parasitology Research 76, 6873.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Allan, J.C. & Craig, P.S. (2006) Coproantigens in taeniasis and echinococcosis. Parasitology International 55, S75S80.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Allan, J.C., Avila, G., Garcia Noval, J., Flisser, A. & Craig, P.S. (1990) Immunodiagnosis of taeniasis by coproantigen detection. Parasitology 101, 473477.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Allan, J.C., Craig, P.S., Garcia Noval, J., Mencos, F., Liu, D., Wang, Y., Wen, H., Zhou, P., Stringer, R., Rogan, M. & Zeyle, E. (1992) Coproantigen detection for the immunodiagnosis of echinococcosis and taeniasis in dogs and humans. Parasitology 104, 347355.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Allan, J.C., Velasquez-Tohom, M., Fletes, C., Torres-Alvarez, R., Lopez Virula, G., Yurrita, P., de Alfaro, H.S., Rivera, A. & Garcia-Noval, J. (1997) Mass chemotherapy for intestinal Taenia solium infection: effect on prevalence in humans and pigs. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 91, 593598.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ambrosio, J., Cruz-Rivera, M., Allan, J., Moran, E., Ersfeld, K. & Flisser, A. (1997) Identification and partial characterization of a myosin-like protein from cysticerci and adults of Taenia solium using a monoclonal antibody. Parasitology 114, 545553.Google ScholarPubMed
Andreassen, J. (2005) Intestinal tapeworms. pp. 658676in Cox, F.E.G., Wakelin, D., Gillespie, S.H. & Despommier, D.D. (Eds) Topley and Wilson's microbiology and microbial infections: Parasitology. 10th edn.London, Hodder.Google Scholar
Bustos, J.A., Rodriguez, S., Jiminez, J.A., Moyano, L.M., Castillo, Y., Ayvar, V., Allan, J.C., Craig, P.S., Gonzalez, A.E., Gilman, R.H., Tsang, V.C.W. & Garcia, H.H. (2012) Detection of Taenia solium taeniasis coproantigen is an early indicator of treatment failure for taeniasis. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology 19, 570573.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cabaret, J., Geerts, S., Madeline, M., de Borchgrave, J., Ducheyne, E. & Dorny, P. (2002) The use of urban sludge on pastures: the cysticercosis threat. Veterinary Research 33, 575597.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chao, D., Wong, M.M. & Fan, P.C. (1988) Experimental infection in a human subject by a possibly undescribed species of Taenia in Taiwan. Journal of Helminthology 62, 235242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chapman, A., Vallejo, V., Mossie, K.G., Ortiz, D., Agabian, N. & Flisser, A. (1995) Isolation and characterisation of species-specific DNA probes from Taenia solium and Taenia saginata and their use in an egg detection assay. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 33, 12831288.Google Scholar
Craig, P.S. & Ito, A. (2007) Intestinal cestodes. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 20, 524532.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Deplazes, P., Gottstein, B., Stingelin, Y. & Eckert, J. (1990) Detection of Taenia hydatigena copro-antigens by ELISA in dogs. Veterinary Parasitology 36, 91103.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Deplazes, P., Eckert, J., Pawlowski, Z.S., Machowska, L. & Gottstein, B. (1991) An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the diagnostic detection of Taenia saginata copro-antigens in humans. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 85, 391396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dorny, P. & Praet, N. (2007) Taenia saginata in Europe. Veterinary Parasitology 149, 2224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elayoubi, F.A. & Craig, P.S. (2004) Echinococcus granulosus coproantigens: chromatographic fractionation and characterisation. Parasitology 128, 455465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eom, K.S. & Rim, H.J. (1992) Experimental human infection with Asian Taenia saginata metacestodes obtained from naturally infected Korean domestic pigs. Korean Journal of Parasitology 30, 2124.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fan, P.C., Chung, W.C., Lin, C.Y. & Chan, C.H. (1992) Clinical manifestations of taeniasis in Taiwan aborigines. Journal of Helminthology 66, 118123.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Garcia, H.H., Gonzalez, A.E., Gilman, R.H., Moulton, L.H., Verastegui, M., Rodriguez, S., Gavidia, C., Tsang, V.W.C. & the Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru (2006) Combined human and porcine mass chemotherapy for the control of T. solium. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 74, 850855.Google ScholarPubMed
Garcia-Noval, J., Allan, J.C., Fletes, C., Moreno, E., de Mata, F., Torres-Alvarez, R., Soto de Alfaro, H., Yurrita, P., Higueros-Morales, H., Mencos, F. & Craig, P.S. (1996) Epidemology of Taenia solium taeniasis and cysticercosis in two rural Guatemalan communities. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 55, 282289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gottstein, B., Lengeler, C., Bachmann, P., Hagemann, P., Kocher, P., Brossard, M., Witassek, F. & Eckert, J. (1987) Sero-epidemiological survey for alveolar echinococcosis (by Em2-ELISA) of blood donors in an endemic area of Switzerland. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81, 960964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grove, D. (1990) A history of human helminthology. Wallingford, UK, CAB International.Google Scholar
Guezala, M.C., Rodriguez, S., Zamora, H., Garcia, H.H., Gonzalez, A.E., Tembo, A., Allan, J.C. & Craig, P.S. (2009) Development of a species-specific coproantigen ELISA for human Taenia solium taeniasis. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81, 433437.Google ScholarPubMed
Hall, A., Latham, M.C., Crompton, W.T. & Stephenson, L.S. (1981) Taenia saginata (Cestoda) in western Kenya: the reliability of faecal examination in diagnosis. Parasitology 83, 91101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harrison, L.J.S., Delgado, J. & Parkhouse, R.M.E. (1990) Differential diagnosis of Taenia saginata and Taenia solium with DNA probes. Parasitology 100, 459461.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hoberg, E.P. (2002) Taenia tapeworms: their biology, evolution and socioeconomic significance. Microbes and Infections 4, 859866.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hoeppli, R. (1953) Parasites and parasitic infection in early medicine and science. Singapore, University of Malaya Press.Google Scholar
Ito, A., Chung, W.C., Chen, C.C., Ito, M., Endo, S., Okamoto, M. & Fan, P.C. (1997) Human Taenia eggs develop into cysticerci in scid mice. Parasitology 114, 8588.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kebede, N. (2008) Cysticercosis of slaughtered cattle in northwestern Ethiopia. Research in Veterinary Science 85, 522526.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Li, T., Craig, P.S., Ito, A., Chen, X., Qiu, D., Qiu, J., Sato, M.O., Wandra, T., Bradshaw, H., Yang, Y. & Wang, Q. (2006) Taeniasis/cysticercosis in a Tibetan population in Sichuan Province, China. Acta Tropica 100, 223231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lightowlers, M.W. (2013) Control of Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis: past practices and new possibilities. Parasitology 140, 15661577.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Maravilla, P., Avila, G., Cabrera, V., Aguilar, L. & Flisser, A. (1998) Comparative development of T. solium in experimental models. Journal of Parasitology 84, 882886.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murrell, K.D. (Ed.) (2005) WHO/FAO/OIE guidelines for surveillance, prevention and control of taeniosis/cysticercosis. Geneva, World Health Organisation.Google Scholar
Nakaya, K., Mamuti, W., Xiao, N., Sato, M.O., Wandra, T., Nakao, M., Sako, Y., Yamasaki, H., Ishikawa, Y., Craig, P.S., Schantz, P.M. & Ito, A. (2006) Usefulness of severe combined immunodeficiency (Scid) and inbred mice for studies of cysticercosis and echinococcosis. Parasitology International 55, S91S97.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nunes, C.M., Lima, L.G., Manoel, C.S., Pereira, R.N., Nakano, M.M. & Garcia, J.F. (2006) Fecal specimens preparation methods for PCR diagnosis of human taeniosis. Revista del Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo 48, 4547.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
O'Neal, S.E., Moyano, L.M., Ayvar, V., Gonzalvez, G., Diaz, A., Rodriguez, S., Wilkins, P.P., Tsang, V.C.W., Gilman, R.H., Garcia, H.H., Gonzalez, A.E. & the Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru (2012) Geographic correlation between tapeworm carriers and heavily infected cysticercotic pigs. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 6, e1953.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Oryan, A., Moghaddar, N. & Gaur, S.N.S. (1995) Taenia saginata cysticercosis in cattle with special reference to prevalence, pathogenesis and economic implications in Fars Province of Iran. Veterinary Parasitology 57, 319327.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pawlowski, Z. & Schultz, M. (1972) Taeniasis and cysticercosis (Taenia saginata). Advances in Parasitology 10, 269343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rishi, A.K. & McManus, D.P. (1987) DNA probes which unambiguously distinguish Taenia solium from T. saginata. Lancet i, 12751276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tesfa-Yohannes, T.-M. (1990) Effectiveness of praziquantel against Taenia saginata infections in Ethiopia. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 84, 581585.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Viljoen, N.F. (1937) Cysticercosis in swines and bovines, with special reference to South African conditions. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Industry 9, 337570.Google Scholar
Wandra, T., Depary, A.A., Sutisna, P., Margono, S.S., Suroso, T., Okamoto, M., Craig, P.S. & Ito, A. (2006) Taeniasis and cysticercosis in Bali and North Sumatra, Indonesia. Parasitology International 55, S155S160.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wilkins, P., Allan, J.C., Verastegui, M., Acosta, M., Eason, A.G., Garcia, H.H., Gonzalez, A.E., Gilman, R.H. & Tsang, V.C.W. (1999) Development of a serologic assay to detect Taenia solium taeniosis. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 60, 199204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yamasaki, H., Allan, J.C., Sato, M.O., Nakao, M., Sako, Y., Nakaya, K., Qiu, D., Mamuti, W., Craig, P.S. & Ito, A. (2004) DNA differential diagnosis of taeniosis and cysticercosis by multiplex PCR. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 42, 548553.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Taenia saginata taeniosis: copro-antigen time-course in a voluntary self-infection
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Taenia saginata taeniosis: copro-antigen time-course in a voluntary self-infection
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Taenia saginata taeniosis: copro-antigen time-course in a voluntary self-infection
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *