The survival and dispersal of Taenia eggs in the environment: what are the implications for transmission? A systematic review

Famke Jansen, Pierre Dorny, Sarah Gabriël, Veronique Dermauw, Maria Vang Johansen, Chiara Trevisan

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

Taenia spp. are responsible for a substantial health and economic burden in affected populations. Knowledge of the fate of the eggs of Taenia spp. in the environment and of other factors facilitating the transmission of eggs to intermediate hosts is important for the control/elimination of infections caused by Taenia spp. The aim of this systematic review was to summarize current knowledge of the factors influencing the survival and dispersal of Taenia spp. eggs in the environment. Publications retrieved from international databases were systematically reviewed. Of the 1465 papers initially identified, data were ultimately extracted from 93 papers. The results of this systematic review indicate that survival is favoured at moderate temperatures (0-20 °C). Humidity seems to affect the survival of Taenia spp. eggs more than temperature. Under field circumstances, Taenia spp. eggs have been found to survive for up to 1 year. Taenia spp. eggs are commonly found on vegetables (0.9-30%) and in soil and water samples (0-43%), with their presence posing a risk to the consumer. Invertebrates may act as transport hosts, transferring the infection to an intermediate host, but the importance of this route of transmission is still open to question. Wastewater treatment systems are not capable of entirely eliminating Taenia spp. eggs. Access to surface water and the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer on pastures are important risk factors for bovine cysticercosis. Although information on the survival and spread of Taenia spp. eggs is available, in general the data retrieved and reviewed in this article were old, focused on very specific geographical regions and may not be relevant for other areas or not specific for different Taenia spp. Furthermore, it is unknown whether egg survival differs according to Taenia sp. Future studies are necessary to identify sustainable methods to identify and inactivate parasite eggs in the environment and reduce their spread.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParasites and Vectors
Volume14
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)88
ISSN1756-3305
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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