Validation of scalable and sustainable models for taenia solium control based on vaccination of pigs
Porcine cysticercosis (PC) in pigs and neurocycticercosis (NCC) in humans are diseases caused by the parasite Taenia solium (tapeworm), which is transmitted between humans and pigs. In many regions, pigs are a preferred species for women smallholder farmers and a major source of livelihood. A neglected disease among humans and livestock in the poorest of communities, NCC can result in cases of epilepsy in humans. Although both genders would benefit from decreased incidence of NCC, epilepsy in women and girls carries greater stigma because it is often associated with witchcraft.
This project will test a “One Health” approach (leveraging interactions between human health, livestock health, and the environment) to eliminate this disease in target regions of Madagascar using Cysvax®, an effective but poorly adopted livestock vaccine. The project will combine vaccination and drug interventions in the pigs to treat the cysts, and treatment with praziquantel in human tapeworm carriers. The project will also use a unique minimum cost control model based on a reduced frequency of interventions in pigs and humans. If successful, it could contribute to a strategy for a future global PC and NCC eradication campaign. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to substantially and sustainably reduce transmission of the parasite and reduce the burden of human disease.
This project is funded through the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund, a partnership of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada, and IDRC. It represents a joint investment of CA$57 million over five years to support the development, production, and commercialization of innovative vaccines against priority livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.