©Ronnie Dankelman
©Ronnie Dankelman

Disease due to the tapeworm Taenia solium occurs in two forms: taeniasis and cysticercosis.
Taeniasis is the intestinal infection with adult tapeworms. It is a mild disease, but of significant public health importance as it plays a crucial role in the transmission of cysticercosis, a serious disease.
Cysticercosis is the infection with the larval stages (cysticerci) of the tapeworm. Inside the body, cysticerci can develop in a number of tissues; those that are located in the central nervous system cause neurocysticercosis, the most severe form of the disease.
Neurocysticercosis is considered to be a common infection of the central nervous system and is the most frequent preventable cause of epilepsy in the developing world.

fact buffet


~ 29 %of people with epilepsy in endemic countries had neurocysticercosis

Second WHO report on NTDs
Chapter 3.10, page 72


Highin countries with free-roaming pigs, poor sanitation and informal animal slaughter

Global distribution of cysticercosis, 2011 (PNG)


50 millioncases of epilepsy worldwide. One third occur in regions where Taenia solium is endemic

Read TRS N° 972

Fact Sheet


N°376. May 2014

NTD Roadmap

Accelerating work to overcome the global impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases - A roadmap for implementation

Data and Maps

Taeniasis/cysticercosis in the news

04 May 2015 | Geneva
Landscape analysis: control of Taenia solium
Ref: ISBN 978 92 4 150864 3

21 February 2015 | Geneva
Assembling a framework for intensified control of taeniasis and neurocysticercosis caused by Taenia solium

19 February 2015 | Geneva
Landscape analysis: management of neurocysticercosis with an emphasis on low- and middle- income countries