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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

versión impresa ISSN 1130-0108

Rev. esp. enferm. dig. vol.108 no.10 Madrid oct. 2016 



About human taeniasis and Taenia saginata diagnosis by endoscopy


Key words: Human taeniasis. Taenia saginata. Diagnosis. Endoscopy.


Dear Editor,

This journal has recently published an article by Canaval-Zuleta et al. dealing with the effectiveness of endoscopy in the diagnosis and treatment of Taenia saginata (1). I consider it as essential to disabuse the authors, who have provided some misinformation in their article.

1. The authors pointed out about taeniasis the following: "The primary risk factors for infection being the ingestion of undercooked or raw contaminated meat and poor hygienic habits". To acquire taeniasis humans have to ingest the larval stage, i.e. the Cysticercus that lives in pigs or cattle. Therefore, humans become infected only when eating raw or undercooked pork and/or beef. Poor hygienic habits are not related to taeniasis but to cysticercosis.

2. The authors state that taeniasis causes "high mortality". However, on the contrary, it is well known that taeniasis is an asymptomatic or subclinical parasitation ( Maybe, the authors wanted to refer to neurocysticercosis, instead of taeniasis, that can cause up to 50,000 deaths annually (2).

3. The authors indicate about taeniasis that "traditionally its diagnosis results from the identification of parasites in the stools, with serological and immunological approaches being more recently available". Immunological approaches (that include serological techniques) have been available for decades (3). The latest techniques are the molecular ones, being 100% specific and also developed more than 10 years ago (4).

4. Regarding the effectiveness of endoscopy, it has already been published that it is a sensitive technique, but it lacks specificity (5). Therefore, and contrary to what is said in the title, endoscopy is a diagnostic technique for taeniasis not for T. saginata, since, subsequently, another specific technique is required to find out the species causing parasitation.

5. The histological sections partially shown in the figure 2 of the article do not allow any species identification. In addition, T. asiatica has the same gravid proglottid morphology as T. saginata.


María Teresa Galán-Puchades
Department of Cellular Biology and Parasitology.
Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad de Valencia.
Valencia, Spain.



1. Canaval-Zuleta HJ, Company-Campins MM, Dolz-Abadía C. Endoscopy as an alternative diagnostic and therapeutic technique for Taenia saginata. Rev Esp Enferm Dig 2016;108(6):371-6. DOI: 10.17235/reed.2015.3585/2014.         [ Links ]

2. Mafojane NA, Appleton CC, Krecek RC, et al. The current status of neurocysticercosis in Eastern and Southern Africa. Acta Trop 2003;87:25-33. DOI: 10.1016/S0001-706X(03)00052-4.         [ Links ]

3. Deckers N, Dorny P. Immunodiagnosis of Taenia solium taeniosis/cisticercosis. Trends Parasitol 2010;26:137-44. DOI: 10.1016/         [ Links ]

4. Yamasaki H, Allan JC, Sato MO, et al. DNA differential diagnosis of taeniasis and cysticercosis by multiplex PCR. J Clin Microbiol 2004;42:548-53. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.42.2.548-553.2004.         [ Links ]

5. Galán-Puchades MT, Fuentes M. On the diagnosis of human taeniasis by endoscopy. GIE 2010;72:903. DOI: 10.1016/j.gie.2010.02.006.         [ Links ]