article by Foyaca-Sibat H, Ibanez-Valdez LdeF, Mashiyi MK

Cysticercosis is the condition that occurs when humans become the intermediate - rather than definitive - hosts.  Infection of human tissues with cysticerci occurs in the same manner as those of pigs, and is often attributable to auto-infection.  Cysticercosis can affect any tissue of the body. The tissue in question dictates both the diagnostic strategies and treatments the patient is likely to endure.

Cyscticerci in human legs

Common tissues for cysticercosis include:
  • Skeletal muscle (seen above) - Often cause no medical threat
  • Extraocular muscles - muscles that control movement of the eye
  • Eye - Intraocular cysts are common, and can cause detachment of the retina and blindness
  • Tongue/Cheek - Oral cysts are less dangerous, and easier to treat via surgery

Human brain after cyst death

Neurocysticercosis is the term for an infection of cysticerci in the central nervous system.  It can cause seizures, hydrocephalus, even death.  Common types of cysticerci within the CNS include:

  • Intraventricular Cysts - Cysts found on the ventricular system of the brain (seen here - cysticercus on a human ventricle)
  • Subarachnoid Cysts - Cysts found between the arachnoid mater and pia mater in the brain
  • Parenchymal Cysts - Cysts in the tissues of the brain
  • Spinal cord Cysts