Molecular methods for diagnosis of Zoonotic Helminths: Can they be made accessible to the common Man?

Understanding the life cycle and pathogenesis of zoonotic helminths is extremely important because a majority of the infections are acquired from the livestock animals. These animals (including birds) live in close association with the human beings and serve as a reservoir of infections. Taenia solium cysticercosis is currently reported as an important re-emerging zoonosis and the development of sensitive and specific diagnostic tests are needed urgently .

Zoonotic Helminths

Humans can be intermediate hosts for Taenia multiceps, T. serialis, T. brauni, T. solium, T. crassiceps, T. ovis, T. taeniaeformis and T. hydatigena. Other animals can also act as intermediate hosts for all these taeniids. In these cases, the larval forms may get lodged in the muscles, central nervous system or other organs (like lungs and liver)/tissues often leading to dire consequences that may threaten life. The effects of the larval infections are even more serious than the adult forms. Humans also act as definitive hosts for Taenia solium, T. saginata and T. asiatica. Thus, humans act both as definitive and intermediate hosts of T. solium . All these forms are zoonotic and cause serious health hazards in the developing and underdeveloped countries.


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