Pork tapeworm causes epilepsy in humans. Help us put a stop to it!

The pork tapeworm is the most common cause of acquired epilepsy in people in developing countries. People can get a tapeworm by eating contaminated pork. The worm’s larvae often settle in the brain and thus cause epilepsy. Alongside serious health problems which mean that people are no longer able to carry out (essential) daily tasks, and are often excluded from society, the worms also cause many financial problems for poor farmers.

The good news is that we are able to combat this worm, but it is not yet clear what the best way is to do so. Through ‘CystiSTOP’ our research group is evaluating which are the best methods to eradicate the worm from humans and pigs: should we treat the person and/or the animal? Or is it through vaccination? Improving the sanitary facilities and housing of pigs? It is also essential to raise awareness in local communities in order to combat the disease, and so education continues to be an important aspect of our work. We want to invest in this last aspect in particular, with a focus on children since they are the best way to transfer knowledge within a society. We want to develop better tools and to assess them, and for this we need money.

Pork tapeworm causes epilepsy in people. Help us put a stop to it?You can support this research immediately via bank transfer to the following account: BE26 3900 9658 0329 (BIC: BBRUBEBB), with the message “DI_814” (“pork tapeworm and epilepsy”)

University Fund of Ghent University
Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Ghent, Belgium

Do you donate 40 euros or more per year? That means your donation is tax deductible. You will receive a tax receipt from us.

Starting from 20 euros, we can already test a ‘worm board game’ in a class in Zambia and see whether playing the game helps children learn how to avoid pork tapeworm infection.

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