DNA-Detection Based Diagnostics for Taenia solium Cysticercosis in Porcine

M.W. Waema, G. Misinzo, J. M. Kagira, E. L. Agola and H. A. Ngowi (2020)


Porcine cysticercosis is a neglected and underestimated disease caused by metacestode stage of the tapeworm, Taenia solium ( T. solium ). Pigs are the intermediate hosts of T. solium while human are the only known definitive host. The disease has an economic consequence because the affected farmers lose 50−100 percent of the value of pigs if they are infected. Lack of affordable, easy to use, sensitive, and specific molecular diagnostic tools for detection of infections at the farm level hinders the control of porcine cysticercosis in endemic areas. A number of DNA based diagnostic assays for the detection of T. solium infections in pigs have been developed and evaluated but none is applicable at low-resource areas where this disease is an endemic. This review focuses mainly on DNA based diagnostic methods, their sensitivity, specificity, and utilization at low-resource areas. We summarized data from 65 studies on the current DNA-detection based diagnostic techniques for T. solium cysticercosis in porcine, published in English between the years 2000–2018, identified through PubMed search engine. Of the different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays developed for identification of T. solium, the most sensitive (97−100%) and specific (100%) one is nested PCR. One study utilized loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) as a diagnostic tool for the detection of T. solium infections though its field use was never determined. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) has been evaluated as a diagnostic tool for a variety of diseases, but has never been exploited for the diagnosis of cysticercosis/taeniasis. In conclusion, several molecular methods have been developed and evaluated in lab settings. However, there is need to validate these methods as a diagnostic tool to diagnose porcine cysticercosis in low-resource areas.
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