DIAGNOSTIC TEST

Taenia Eggs
Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine

Eggs shed in the feces of infected persons are important for the diagnosis of coenurosis because diagnosis can only be made by the surgical recovery of a coenurus. A specific diagnosis must be made on the geographic distribution, organ involvement, and number of hooklets, as not to confuse the disease with cysticercus, a similar disease caused by another Taeniid species. T. multiceps have larger and more numerous protoscoleces without a laminated membrane, however, tapeworm cysts in the in the brain are often sterile meaning that they have no protoscolex in their cavity. Under this condition, a definitive diagnosis is impossible to make, although supportive evidence can be obtained through an examination of the cerebral spinal fluid which may have an increased protein and cellular content (pleocytosis) during times of infection.
Serologic tests are not widely used with this disease because of cross-reactivity with other cestode antigens, although it may be possible that a Casoni test (an immediate hypersensitivity skin test used to detect sensitization to hydatid antigen) would be positive in for this disease.