Cysticercosis is a disease that is caused by the larval form of the tapeworm Taenia solium (pork tapeworms). When humans ingest T. solium eggs, the eggs hatch in the upper small intestine. The oncospheres that were released from the eggs bury their way though the intestinal walls and travel through the circulatory system. They embedded themselves all over: subcutaneous and intramuscular tissues, the eyes, the brain, and other sites in the human body. Tissues become infected with larval cysts of T. solium, in which the human serves as the intermediate hosts. The cysticercosis incubation period if from months to years. Eventually the cysticerci die and become calcified within two years of infection. Cysticercosis does not occur with the Taenia saginata in humans.
Cysticerci have been recovered from all over the body.
A Clinical Case
Case #1: A case of a reoccurring neurocysticerosis has been reported. A patient had undergone treatment and was thought to be cured. Her CT scan and her MRI performed 3 months prior revealed multiple lesions and calicifications indicative of neurocysticercosis. Upon reperforming these tests after she came in with frontal headaches, vomiting, and episodic visual scintiliation, the tests showed the same regions of calcifications. However, large edemas now surrounded these regions. The patient recieved 28 additional days of medicinal treatment even though her symptoms spontaneously disappeared just a fews days after. There are several reasons for why this could have occurred. First, the edemas could have been incompletely calcified and the death of the worms were incomplete. Second, additional antigenic responses were created against the dead worms. Third, the dying parasites could have triggered another spontaneous increase in the immune response.
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