Cysticercosis is the most common parasitic disease in the world affecting the CNS. In the United States, this entity has been regarded until recently as a medical curiosity. However, increasing immigration from Mexico and other endemic areas and improvements in radiologic and serologic diagnosis have established cysticercosis as an important disease entity in this country, particularly in the Southwest (see pp 534 and 540).
Man is the definitive host of Taenia solium, the pork tapeworm. The usual route of infestation is through eating inadequately cooked pork containing embryos. Cysticercosis is a systemic infection that occurs when a human being becomes the intermediate host. This results from ingestion of food contaminated by human feces containing eggs, from fecal-oral autoinfection, or from autoinfection caused by reverse peristalsis. The eggshell is digested in the stomach and releases oncospheres that then penetrate the intestinal mucosa, enter the blood-stream, and lodge in many parts