<Anybody has seen cysticercosis in a person who has, since birth, been a
<strict vegetarian? Has oral-fecal transmission of cysticercosis been
<reported? Saw one case last month.
<Would appreciate input.
<LRVives at msn.com
Cysticercosis is due to ingestion of eggs of _Taenia solium_ by a person.
The eggs come from the faeces of a person infected with the mature
tapeworm, but the person who ingests the eggs acts like an intermediate
host. The eggs hatch in the small intestine, enter the bloodstream and
form cysts in many organs. People only acquire the adult tapeworm by
eating cysticerci in pig muscle. So cysticercosis does not require the
person to eat pork since transmission is faecal- oral. Consequently,
vegetarians are liable to develop cycticercosis, but if they eat no pork
they will not acquire adult _T. solium_ in their intestines.
Some interesting studies on cysticercosis have been done on orthodox Jews
who eat no pork. From the tapeworm's point of view an orthodox Jew and a
vegetarian are the same. If you would like a reference to these studies,
I can supply a recent one when I return to my home base.
Department of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
James Cook University
email: Richard.Speare at jcu.edu.au