Investigation of the pathological mechanisms of seizures in T. solium neurocysticercosis

    Project Details


    Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the most common cause of adult acquired epilepsy worldwide. Knowledge on why some NCC patients develop severe symptoms including seizures, while others remain asymptomatic is lacking. Inflammatory responses to degenerating cysticerci and in later stage calcified parasite granulomas have been associated with seizures. Other mechanisms may also be involved in epileptogenesis, however these need still to be elucidated. Recent observations of seizures in pigs with NCC by C. Trevisan offer a unique opportunity to use the pig as a model to develop a better understanding on mechanisms of seizures and long-term immunopathogenesis of NCC.
    Two possible mechanisms suggested to play a key role in the development of seizures will be evaluated in regard to T. solium NCC in pigs using histopathological and immunohistopathological methods. More specifically, the blood brain barrier dysfunction and epileptogenic role of albumin, and expression of substance P using immunohistochemistry in T. solium naturally infected and non-infected pig brains will be evaluated.
    The results of this PPP will form the basis of a collaboration for the development of a full-scale project where experimentally and naturally infected pigs with T. solium will be used as a model to study the mechanisms of seizures to better understand the immunopathogenesis of NCC and to develop improved treatments for one of the world’s most common causes of epilepsy.
    Effective start/end date15/10/1714/01/19


    • Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp: €48,075.70
    • Flemish Government - Department of Economy, Science & Innovation: €48,075.70