Bethesda, Maryland 20892

  • Cysticercosis


The purpose of this study is to evaluate, treat and follow patients with cysticercosis, an infection with the larval form of the pork tapeworm, T. solium. When people ingest cysts of T. solium eggs, cysts develop in the muscles, brain and other organs. The cysts enlarge and cause inflammation, usually in the brain. Patients may develop seizures, headache, nausea, vomiting, inability to walk, poor vision due to enlargement of the brain, and increased pressure in the brain. Other neurological problems may develop depending on the location of the cysts. The drugs praziquantel and albendazole are used to treat cysticercosis, but it is not clear if these drugs are effective in all patients, such as those with calcified cysts or brain enlargement. Patients with suspected or confirmed cysticercosis may be eligible for this study. Participants will be hospitalized for 2 to 3 weeks and will take either praziquantel or albendazole by mouth for 2 weeks. They may receive a corticosteroid to lessen the side effects of the drug therapy. Patients will be evaluated with medically indicated tests and procedures that may include: - Blood tests. - X-rays of the head and long bones. - Electroencephalogram - recording of the electrical activity of the brain - Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) - examination of the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord. For this procedure, a local anesthetic is given and a needle is inserted in the space between the bones (vertebrae) in the lower back. About 2 tablespoons of fluid is collected through the needle. - Eye examination. - Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brain. MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves instead of X-rays to demonstrate structural and chemical changes in the brain. During the scan, the patient lies on a table in a narrow cylinder (the scanner). He or she can speak with a staff member via an intercom system at all times during the procedure. - Computed tomography (CT) to examine the brain. CT can be done from different angles and allows the doctor to view the brain in small sections in 3-dimensions. The patient lies on a table with the head positioned in the CT scanner. Some of the tests may be repeated on the last day of therapy and at 3 and 6 months or longer after therapy.

Study summary:

The purpose of this protocol is to follow participants with cysticercosis during and after completion of treatment, to characterize the disease course during both short- and long-term follow-up, assess biomarkers associated with infection and response to treatment, improve diagnostic assays, and explore host-parasite interactions. Cysticercosis is defined as an infection with the larval form of Taenia solium and includes infection of the brain (neurocysticercosis [NCC]) that accounts for most of the symptomatic disease and serious complications. Evaluation and treatment will be provided as clinically indicated. Clinical data and biospecimens will be collected during and after treatment to assess biomarkers of infection and inflammation, immunologic response to treatment, and correlations between biomarkers and results of clinically indicated diagnostic tests. In addition, we will collect information from patient-reported outcome questionnaires completed by participants to better understand the long-term effect on functional ability and determine if there is a correlation between clinical deficits with biomarkers of inflammation.


- INCLUSION CRITERIA: 1. Patients ages 3 to 99 years. 2. Patients with proven or likely neurocysticercosis. 3. Willingness (of participant or legally authorized representative [LAR]) to sign consent and comply with study requirements. EXCLUSION CRITERIA: Not applicable.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Elise M O'Connell, M.D.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

JeanAnne M Ware, C.R.N.P.
Phone: (301) 594-3149

Backup Contact:

Elise M O'Connell, M.D.
Phone: (301) 761-5413

Location Contact:

Bethesda, Maryland 20892
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: Recruiting

Data Source:

Date Processed: November 27, 2022

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