Profile of adult and pediatric neurocysticercosis cases observed in five Southern European centers.
ABSTRACT: In Europe the management of neurocysticercosis (NCC) is challenging because health care providers are unaware of this condition, thus leading to diagnostic delay and mismanagement. The aim of this study is to retrospectively review the cases of NCC observed in five centers located in Florence, Negrar (Italy) and Barcelona (Spain). A total of 81 subjects with NCC were evaluated in the period 1980-2013. By applying the Del Brutto's criteria 39 cases (48.1 %) were classified as definitive cases, 31 (38.8 %) as probable cases and 11 (13.6 %) did not satisfy the diagnostic criteria. Continent of origin was known for 80 subjects. Latin America and Asia were the most frequent continents of origin (n = 37; 46.3 % and n = 22; 27.5 %) followed by Europe (n = 14; 17.5 %) and Africa (n = 7; 8.8 %). Compared with adults, paediatric patients were more likely to have eosinophilia, to have other parasitic infections, to be asymptomatic, to not be treated with antiepileptic drugs or analgesic and to heal. The study shows that there are some hurdles in the management of NCC in Europe. A not negligible portion of patients diagnosed at reference centers do not fully satisfy Del Brutto's diagnostic criteria. The higher portion of asymptomatic subjects found among the paediatric group is probably related to an ongoing serological screening among adopted children coming from endemic regions. The value of such a serological screening should be better assessed by a further cost-effective analysis.
Project description:Intraventricular neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a severe form of NCC requiring prompt diagnosis and treatment. We aimed to assess the reliability of the most recent version of diagnostic criteria for this form of NCC. Two systematic literature reviews were performed; one included case reports of patients with intraventricular cysticercosis and the other included case reports of patients with intraventricular cystic lesions or granulomas caused by infections other than NCC. All assessed cases were categorized according to the last revision of the long-standing Del Brutto's set of diagnostic criteria to determine its sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value for this form of NCC. The search disclosed 128 patients with intraventricular NCC and 41 with other infections. The set of diagnostic criteria classified as definitive NCC 93 cases with intraventricular NCC (sensitivity 72.7%, 95% CI, 63.9-79.9%), as well as four cases with other infections (specificity 90.2%, 95% CI, 75.9-96.8%). The positive and negative predictive values of the criteria were 0.96 (95% CI, 0.89-0.99) and 0.51 (95% CI, 0.39-0.63), respectively. The revised Del Brutto's set of diagnostic criteria for NCC is acceptably sensitive and highly specific for diagnosing patients with the ventricular form of the disease.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the most common cause of acquired epilepsy in Taenia solium endemic areas, primarily situated in low-income countries. Diagnosis is largely based upon the "Del Brutto diagnostic criteria" using the definitive/probable/no NCC diagnosis approach. Neuroimaging and specific T. solium cysticercosis antibody detection results are at the mainstay of this diagnosis, while antigen detection in serum has never been included. This study aimed at evaluating the addition of antigen detection as a major diagnostic criterion, especially in areas where neuroimaging is absent.<h4>Methods</h4>The B158/B60 monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of circulating cysticercus antigen was carried out retrospectively on serum samples collected during a hospital-based study from 83 people with epilepsy (PWE) in an endemic area.<h4>Results</h4>The addition of antigen results as a major criterion allowed the correct diagnosis of definitive NCC in 10 out of 17 patients as opposed to 0/17 without antigen results in the absence of neuroimaging. A sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 84% were determined for the diagnosis of active NCC using antigen ELISA. While the use of a higher cutoff improves the specificity of the test to 96%, it decreases its sensitivity to 83%.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In areas where neuroimaging is absent, NCC diagnosis according to the existing criteria is problematic. Taking into account its limitations for diagnosis of inactive NCC, antigen detection can be of added value for diagnosing NCC in PWE by supporting diagnostic and treatment decisions. Therefore, we recommend a revision of the "Del Brutto diagnostic criteria" for use in resource poor areas and suggest the inclusion of serum antigen detection as a major criterion.
Project description:Zambia is endemic for Taenia solium taeniosis and cysticercosis. In this single-centered, cross-sectional, community-based study, the role of neurocysticercosis (NCC) as a cause of epilepsy was examined. People with epilepsy (PWE, n = 56) were identified in an endemic area using a screening questionnaire followed by in-depth interviews and neurological examination. Computed tomography (CT) was performed on 49 people with active epilepsy (PWAE) and their sera (specific antibody and antigen detection, n = 56) and stools (copro-antigen detection, n = 54) were analyzed. The CT scan findings were compared to a group of 40 CT scan controls. Of the PWE, 39.3% and 23.2% were positive for cysticercal antibodies and antigens, respectively, and 14.8% for coproantigens (taeniosis). Lesions highly suggestive of NCC were detected in 24.5% and definite NCC lesions in 4.1% of CT scans of PWAE. This compares to 2.5% and 0%, respectively, in the control CT scans. Using the Del Brutto diagnostic criteria, 51.8% of the PWAE were diagnosed with probable or definitive NCC and this rose to 57.1% when the adapted criteria, as proposed by Gabriël et al. (adding the sero-antigen ELISA test as a major criterion), were used. There was no statistically significant relationship between NCC, current age, age at first seizure and gender. This study suggests that NCC is the single most important cause of epilepsy in the study area. Additional large-scale studies, combining a community based prevalence study for epilepsy with neuroimaging and serological analysis in different areas are needed to estimate the true impact of neurocysticercosis in endemic regions and efforts should be instituted to the control of T. solium.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>The diagnosis of neurocysticercosis (NCC) remains problematic because of the heterogeneity of its clinical, immunological, and imaging characteristics. Our aim was to develop and assess a new set of diagnostic criteria for NCC, which might allow for the accurate detection of, and differentiation between, parenchymal and extraparenchymal disease.<h4>Methods</h4>A group of Latin American NCC experts developed by consensus a new set of diagnostic criteria for NCC. A multicenter, retrospective study was then conducted to validate it. The reference standard for diagnosis of active NCC was the disappearance or reduction of cysts after anthelmintic treatment. In total, three pairs of independent neurologists blinded to the diagnosis evaluated 93 cases (with NCC) and 93 controls (without NCC) using the new diagnostic criteria. Mixed-effects logistic regression models were used to estimate sensitivity and specificity.<h4>Results</h4>Inter-rater reliability (kappa) of diagnosis among evaluators was 0.60. For diagnosis of NCC versus no NCC, the new criteria had a sensitivity of 93.2% and specificity of 81.4%. For parenchymal NCC, the new criteria had a sensitivity of 89.8% and specificity of 80.7% and for extraparenchymal NCC, the new criteria had a sensitivity of 65.9% and specificity of 94.9%.<h4>Interpretation</h4>These criteria have acceptable reliability and validity and could be a new tool for clinicians and researchers. An advantage of the new criteria is that they consider parasite location (ie, parenchymal or extraparenchymal), which is an important factor determining the clinical, immunological, and radiological presentation of the disease, and importantly, its treatment and prognosis. Ann Neurol 2016;80:434-442.
Project description:To estimate the lifetime prevalence of neurocysticercosis (NCC)-associated epilepsy and the proportion of NCC among people with epilepsy in three Burkina Faso villages.Three villages were selected to represent three types of pig-rearing methods: (1) Batondo, where pigs are left to roam; (2) Pabré, where pigs are mostly tethered or penned; and (3) Nyonyogo, where the majority of residents are Muslim and few pigs are raised. In Batondo and Nyonyogo, all concessions (a group of several households) were included. Half of the concessions in Pabré were randomly chosen. All households of selected concessions were included, and one person per household was randomly selected for epilepsy screening and serologic testing for cysticercosis. Self-reported cases of epilepsy were also examined and confirmed cases included in analyses other than the estimate of NCC-associated epilepsy prevalence. Epilepsy was defined as ever having had more than one episode of unprovoked seizures. Individuals with medically confirmed epilepsy had a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the brain before and after contrast medium injection. The diagnosis of NCC was made using a modification of the criteria of Del Brutto et al.Thirty-nine (4%) of 888 randomly selected villagers and 33 (94%) of 35 self-reported seizures cases were confirmed to have epilepsy by medical examination. Among the 68 participants with epilepsy who had a CT scan, 20 patients were diagnosed with definitive or probable NCC for a proportion of 46.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 30.2-64.1) in Batondo and 45.5% (95% CI 19.0-74.1) in Pabré. No cases of NCC were identified in Nyonyogo.All the definitive and probable cases of NCC were from the two villages where pig breeding is common. Prevention policies intended to reduce the burden of epilepsy in this country should include measures designed to interrupt the life cycle of Taenia solium.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Neurocysticercosis (NCC), the central nervous system infection by Taenia solium larvae, is a preventable and treatable cause of epilepsy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the role of NCC in epilepsy differs geographically and, overall, is poorly defined. We aimed at contributing specific, first data for Rwanda, assessing factors associated with NCC, and evaluating a real-time PCR assay to diagnose NCC in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>At three healthcare facilities in southern Rwanda, 215 people with epilepsy (PWE) and 51 controls were clinically examined, interviewed, and tested by immunoblot for cysticerci-specific serum antibodies. Additionally, CSF samples from PWE were tested for anticysticercal antibodies by ELISA and for parasite DNA by PCR. Cranial computer tomography (CT) scans were available for 12.1% of PWE with additional symptoms suggestive of NCC. The Del Brutto criteria were applied for NCC diagnosis. Cysticerci-specific serum antibodies were found in 21.8% of PWE and 4% of controls (odds ratio (OR), 6.69; 95% confidence interval (95%CI), 1.6-58.7). Seropositivity was associated with age and lack of safe drinking water. Fifty (23.3%) PWE were considered NCC cases (definitive, based on CT scans, 7.4%; probable, mainly based on positive immunoblots, 15.8%). In CSF samples from NCC cases, anticysticercal antibodies were detected in 10% (definitive cases, 25%) and parasite DNA in 16% (definitive cases, 44%). Immunoblot-positive PWE were older (medians, 30 vs. 22 years), more frequently had late-onset epilepsy (at age >25 years; 43.5% vs. 8.5%; OR, 8.30; 95%CI, 3.5-20.0), and suffered from significantly fewer episodes of seizures in the preceding six months than immunoblot-negative PWE.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>NCC is present and contributes to epilepsy in southern Rwanda. Systematic investigations into porcine and human cysticercosis as well as health education and hygiene measures for T. solium control are needed. PCR might provide an additional, highly specific tool in NCC diagnosis.
Project description:BackgroundDuring the 2018 WNV transmission season, similarly to other endemic areas in Europe, a large number of human West Nile virus (WNV) infections were reported in Hungary.AimsWe summarise the epidemiological and laboratory findings of the 2018 transmission season and expand experiences in flavivirus differential diagnostics.MethodsEvery patient with clinical suspicion of acute WNV infection was in parallel tested for WNV, tick-borne encephalitis virus and Usutu virus (USUV) by serological methods. Sera, whole blood and urine samples were also tested for the presence of viral nucleic acid.ResultsUntil the end of December 2018, 215 locally acquired and 10 imported human WNV infections were notified in Hungary. All reported cases were symptomatic; most of them exhibited neurological symptoms. In a large proportion of tested individuals, whole blood was the most appropriate sample type for viral nucleic acid detection, but because whole blood samples were not always available, testing of urine samples also extended diagnostic possibilities. In addition, the first human USUV infection was confirmed in 2018 in a patient with aseptic meningitis. Serological cross-reactions with WNV in different serological assays were experienced, but subsequent molecular biological testing and sequence analysis identified Europe lineage 2 USUV infection.ConclusionCareful interpretation and simultaneous application of different laboratory methods are necessary to avoid misdiagnosis of human USUV cases. Expansion of the laboratory-confirmed case definition criteria for detection of viral RNA in any clinical specimens to include urine samples could increase diagnostic sensitivity.
Project description:Currently, the reference standard assay for the serodiagnosis of neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the lentil lectin-bound glycoproteins/enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (LLGP-EITB). The main disadvantage of this technique is the complexity of obtaining and purifying the LLGP extract. This could be solved by replacement with highly specific recombinant antigens from Taenia solium. Based on previous studies, we selected and produced the recombinant Ts8B2 and T24H proteins and applied them to three diagnostic techniques: western blot (WB), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the multiplex bead-based assay (MBA).The Ts8B2 and T24H cDNA sequences were expressed in a prokaryotic system and the corresponding expression products purified; three recombinant proteins were further characterized: T24H-his, GST-T24H and GST-Ts8B2. The proteins on WB, ELISA and MBA were tested against 149 sera from patients with NCC confirmed by brain imaging, 40 sera from patients with other parasitic diseases, and 131 sera from US. individuals without evidence of neurocysticercosis (clinical/serological/brain imaging). The sensitivity and specificity of each antigen by WB were calculated by counting the number of true positive, false positive, true negative and false negative results. Using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, the cut-off values for the ELISA and MBA were established as well as the sensitivity and specificity of each assay.All three antigens showed a high sensitivity on WB in active NCC cases with two or more viable cysts and low sensitivity for cases with single viable cyst or calcified lesions and inactive NCC. WB showed the highest specificity and sensitivity out of the three diagnostic techniques. The recombinant T24H-his was the best diagnostic reagent in WB (100% sensitivity, 99.4% specificity), exhibiting similar results to the LLGP-EITB, against the same panel of NCC sera. The GST-T24H antigen worked better than the others in ELISA and MBA protocols (88.3 and 96.1% sensitivity, respectively and 96.5% specificity).The sensitivity and specificity that we obtained were similar to results from a previous study using a similar recombinant antigen (rT24H), suggesting that recombinant antigens may be good alternatives to crude extracts in a variety of diagnostic techniques. Furthermore, these antigens can be applied in the development of point-of-care tests which would be useful in NCC field studies.
Project description:PURPOSE:To retrospectively compare the diagnostic performance of different noninvasive diagnostic criteria of HCC including LI-RADS, OPTN-UNOS, AASLD, NCCN, EASL-EORTC, KLCSG-NCC. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We reviewed the medical records of 3,491 pathologically examined liver lesions from January-2011 to January-2015 in our institution. 195 lesions in 133 patients (M:F = 100:33) with chronic hepatitis B/C and/or cirrhosis for any etiology were finally included in our study, with 98 lesions ? 2 cm, 72 lesions between 1-2 cm, and 25 lesions < 1 cm. The main comparison was made with the largest nodules of each patient (n = 133). The lesions were retrospectively evaluated for the diagnosis of HCC on DCE-CT or MR using different noninvasive diagnostic criteria including LI-RADS, OPTN-UNOS, AASLD, NCCN, EASL-EORTC, and KLCSG-NCC. With pathological evaluation serving as a gold-standard, sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV as well as accuracy of the diagnostic criteria were calculated. RESULTS:There was no statistically significant differences in diagnostic accuracy among noninvasive diagnostic criteria. For 133 lesions of the largest lesion per patient, the overall accuracy was highest with LI-RADS criteria (89.3%) and the overall sensitivity was highest with LI-RADS, AASLD, NCCN criteria (all 89.5%). For 1-2 cm lesions, sensitivity decreased for all criteria in the following order: EASL-EORTC (59.1%), KLCSG-NCC (58.3%), LI-RADS, AASLD, NCCN (all 56.5%), and OPTN-UNOS (22.7%) criteria. OPTN-UNOS had the highest specificity in cirrhotic livers, 91.7%. CONCLUSIONS:The current noninvasive diagnostic criteria of HCC have no statistically significant difference in diagnostic accuracy. Overall, LI-RADS had the highest sensitivity and accuracy among the guidelines. OPTN had the highest specificity for cirrhotic livers.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Neurocysticercosis (NCC), and cystic echinococcosis (CE) are two neglected diseases caused by cestodes, co-endemic in many areas of the world. Imaging studies and serological tests are used in the diagnosis of both parasitic diseases, but cross-reactions may confound the results of the latter. The novel multiplex bead-based assay with recombinant antigens has been reported to increases the diagnostic accuracy of serological techniques.<h4>Methodology</h4>We set-up an immunoassay based on the multiplex bead-based platform (MBA), using the rT24H (against Cysticercus cellulosae, causing cysticercosis) and r2B2t (against Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato, causing CE) recombinant antigens, for simultaneous and differential diagnosis of these infections. The antigens were tested on 356 sera from 151 patients with CE, 126 patients with NCC, and 79 individuals negative for both diseases. Specificity was calculated including sera from healthy donors, other neurological diseases and the respective NCC or CE sera counterpart. The diagnostic accuracy of this assay was compared with two commercial ELISA tests, Novalisa and Ridascreen, widely used in the routine diagnosis of cysticercosis and CE, respectively.<h4>Main findings</h4>For the diagnosis of NCC, sensitivity ranged from 57.94-63.49% for the rT24H-MBA, and 40.48-46.03% for Novalisa ELISA depending on exclusion or inclusion of sera having equivocal results on ELISA from the analysis; specificities ranged from 90.87-91.30% and 70.43-76.96%, respectively. AUC values of the ROC curve were 0.783 (rT24H) and 0.619 (Novalisa) (p-value < 0.001). For the diagnosis of CE, the sensitivity of the r2B2t-MBA ranged from 68.87-69.77% and of Ridascreen ELISA from 50.00-57.62%; specificities from 92.47-92.68% and from 74.15-80.98%, respectively. AUC values were 0.717 and 0.760, respectively.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Overall, the recombinant antigens tested with the bead-based technology showed better diagnostic accuracy than the commercial assays, particularly for the diagnosis of NCC. The possibility of testing the same serum sample simultaneously for the presence of antibodies against both antigens is an added value particularly in seroprevalence studies for cysticercosis linked to control programs in endemic areas where these two parasites coexist.