Hector H Garcia

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Λίμα, Lima, Peru

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Publications (287)1654.68 Total impact

  • Isidro Gonzales · Jimmy T Rivera · Hector H Garcia
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    ABSTRACT: The pork tapeworm Taenia solium may cause two different infections in humans, intestinal taeniasis (the intestinal infection with the adult tapeworm), and cysticercosis (a tissue infection with the cystic larvae or cysticercus). In particular, location of cysticercosis in the nervous system (neurocysticercosis, NCC) is a major cause of seizures and other neurologic symptoms in endemic regions, including most developing countries. (1,2) This manuscript reviews the different presentations of Taenia solium infections in the human host with a focus on the mechanisms or processes responsible for their clinical expression. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Parasite Immunology
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jan 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is the most common helminthic infection of the nervous system and a frequent cause of reactive seizures and epilepsy worldwide. In many cases, multiple episodes of focal seizures related to an identifiable parenchymal brain cyst (and likely attributable to local damage) continue for years after the cyst resolves. However, cases where seizure semiology, interictal EEG abnormalities, and parasites location do not correlate raise concerns about the causal relationship between NCC and either reactive seizures or epilepsy, as well as the epileptogenic potential of parasites. Neurosurgical series of patients with intractable epilepsy and cross-sectional population-based studies have shown a robust association between NCC and hippocampal sclerosis (HS), which might contribute to the above-referred inconsistencies. Current information does not allow to define whether in patients with NCC, HS could result from recurrent seizure activity from a local or distant focus or from chronic recurrent inflammation. In either case, HS may become the pathological substrate of subsequent mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE). Longitudinal clinical- and population-based cohort studies are needed to evaluate the causal relationship between NCC and HS and to characterize this association with the occurrence of MTLE. If a cause-and-effect relationship between NCC and HS is demonstrated, NCC patients could be assessed to examine neuronal mechanisms of hippocampal epileptogenesis in comparison with animal models, to identify biomarkers of hippocampal epileptogenesis, and to develop novel interventions to prevent epilepsy in NCC and perhaps in other forms of acquired epilepsy.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Infections with Taenia solium are the most common cause of adult acquired seizures worldwide, and are the leading cause of epilepsy in developing countries. A better understanding of the genetic diversity of T. solium will improve parasite diagnostics and transmission pathways in endemic areas thereby facilitating the design of future control measures and interventions. Microsatellite markers are useful genome features, which enable strain typing and identification in complex pathogen genomes. Here we describe microsatellite identification and characterization in T. solium, providing information that will assist in global efforts to control this important pathogen.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the efficacy of triclabendazole (TCBZ) in porcine cysticercosis. Methods: Eighteen naturally infected cysticercosis pigs were divided into 3 groups of 6 individuals each. The first group was treated orally with TCBZ at a single dose of 30 mg/kg of body weight, the second group was treated orally with oxfendazole at a single dose of 30 mg/kg of body weight and the third group received a placebo (control group). All animals were kept under the same management conditions. The pigs were euthanized 17 wk post-treatment and the number of surviving cysts in muscles was assessed and compared between groups. Results: All pigs treated with oxfendazole had only degenerated cysts in their carcasses. In contrast, TCBZ had very little effect against the parasitic cysts. Cysts from pigs in the TCBZ group looked apparently normal after treatment. However, histological evaluation showed a mild to moderate degree of inflammation. Conclusions: TCBZ is not an efficacious drug against Taenia solium cysticercosis in swine using a single dose.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Neurocysticercosis (NCC), infection of the central nervous system by Taenia solium cysticerci, is a pleomorphic disease. Inflammation around cysticerci is the major cause of disease but is variably present. One factor modulating the inflammatory responses may be the location and characteristics of the brain tissue adjacent to cysticerci. We analyzed and compared the inflammatory responses to cysticerci located in the parenchyma to those in the meninges or cysticerci partially in contact with both the parenchyma and the meninges (corticomeningeal). Methodology/principal findings: Histological specimens of brain cysticerci (n = 196) from 11 pigs naturally infected with Taenia solium cysticerci were used. Four pigs were sacrificed after 2 days and four after 5 days of a single dose of praziquantel; 3 pigs did not receive treatment. All pigs were intravenously injected with Evans Blue to assess disruption of the blood-brain barrier. The degree of inflammation was estimated by use of a histological score (ISC) based on the extent of the inflammation in the pericystic areas as assessed in an image composed of several photomicrographs taken at 40X amplification. Parenchymal cysticerci provoked a significantly greater level of pericystic inflammation (higher ISC) after antiparasitic treatment compared to meningeal and corticomeningeal cysticerci. ISC of meningeal cysticerci was not significantly affected by treatment. In corticomeningeal cysticerci, the increase in ISC score was correlated to the extent of the cysticercus adjacent to the brain parenchyma. Disruption of the blood-brain barrier was associated with treatment only in parenchymal tissue. Significance: Inflammatory response to cysticerci located in the meninges was significantly decreased compared to parenchymal cysticerci. The suboptimal inflammatory response to cysticidal drugs may be the reason subarachnoid NCC is generally refractory to treatment compared to parenchymal NCC.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Neurology: Clinical Practice (Print)
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    ABSTRACT: Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a zoonosis caused by the larval stage of the dog tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Liver and lungs are the most commonly affected organs whereas splenic infection is rarer and its primary involvement occurs in less than 2% of abdominal CE. We report a case of primary giant splenic hydatid cyst in a 75-year-old Peruvian woman that was laparoscopically removed without any complications, perioperative prophylactic chemotherapy with albendazole 400 mg twice a day 5 days before, and 7 days after the surgical procedure was administered, postoperative recovery was uneventful, and; at her 3-month follow-up the patient remains asymptomatic and an abdominal computed tomography scan demonstrated a cystic cavity of 15 cm diameter with no daughter vesicles, neither other abdominal organ involvement. This case is in line with the existing literature on laparoscopical treatment of splenic cystic hydatid disease, suggesting that laparoscopical treatment is a safe and effective approach for large splenic hydatid cysts to be preferred to open surgical techniques.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
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    ABSTRACT: There is an increasing interest in reducing the incidence of human neurocysticercosis, caused by infection with the larval stage of Taenia solium. Several intervention trials are currently assessing various options for control of T. solium transmission. A critical aspect of these trials will be the evaluation of whether the interventions have been successful. However there is no consensus about the most appropriate or valuable methods that should be used. Here we undertake a critical assessment of the diagnostic tests which are currently available for human T. solium taeniasis and human and porcine cysticercosis, as well as their suitability for evaluation of intervention trial outcomes. Suggestions are made about which of the measures that are available for evaluation of T. solium interventions would be most suitable, and which methodologies are the most appropriate given currently available technologies. Suggestions are also made in relation to the most urgent research needs in order to address deficiencies in current diagnostic methods. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Parasite Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The ability of Taenia solium to modulate the immune system likely contributes to their longevity in the human host. We tested the hypothesis that the nature of the immune response is related to the location of parasite and clinical manifestations of infection. Methodology: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were obtained from untreated patients with neurocysticercosis (NCC), categorized as having parenchymal or subarachnoid infection by the presence of cysts exclusively within the parenchyma or in subarachnoid spaces of the brain, and from uninfected (control) individuals matched by age and gender to each patient. Using multiplex detection technology, sera from NCC patients and controls and cytokine production by PBMC after T. solium antigen (TsAg) stimulation were assayed for levels of inflammatory and regulatory cytokines. PBMC were phenotyped by flow cytometry ex vivo and following in vitro stimulation with TsAg. Principal findings: Sera from patients with parenchymal NCC demonstrated significantly higher Th1 (IFN-γ/IL-12) and Th2 (IL-4/IL-13) cytokine responses and trends towards higher levels of IL-1β/IL-8/IL-5 than those obtained from patients with subarachnoid NCC. Also higher in vitro antigen-driven TNF-β secretion was detected in PBMC supernatants from parenchymal than in subarachnoid NCC. In contrast, there was a significantly higher IL-10 response to TsAg stimulation in patients with subarachnoid NCC compared to parenchymal NCC. Although no differences in regulatory T cells (Tregs) frequencies were found ex vivo, there was a trend towards greater expansion of Tregs upon TsAg stimulation in subarachnoid than in parenchymal NCC when data were normalized for the corresponding controls. Conclusions/significance: T. solium infection of the subarachnoid space is associated with an enhanced regulatory immune response compared to infection in the parenchyma. The resulting anti-inflammatory milieu may represent a parasite strategy to maintain a permissive environment in the host or diminish inflammatory damage from the host immune response in the central nervous system.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    Full-text · Poster · Oct 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of cystic echinococcosis (CE) is based on the identification of the cyst(s) by imaging, using immunodiagnostic tests mainly as complementary tools in clinical settings. Among the antigens used for immunodiagnosis, previous studies described a good performance of the recombinant antigen B8/1 (rAgB) in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) format; however, in remote parts of areas where the disease is endemic, the implementation of an ELISA is difficult, so a more simple, rapid, and reliable method such as the immunochromatographic test (ICT) is required. In this study, using a set of 50 serum samples from patients with surgically confirmed CE, we compared the performance of an ICT and that of an ELISA using the rAgB. The overall sensitivities of ICT and ELISA were not statistically different (78% versus 72%; P = 0.36). The overall agreement between both tests was moderate (κ = 0.41; P < 0.01). Concordance between ICT and ELISA was substantial or almost perfect for patients with liver involvement (κ = 0.65; P < 0.001) and patients with more than one hydatid cyst (κ = 0.82; P < 0.001), respectively. Moreover, specificity analysis using a total of 88 serum samples from healthy individuals (n = 20) and patients (n = 68) with other parasitic infections revealed that ICT had a specificity of 89.8%. ICT and ELISA had similar performance for the detection of specific antibodies to E. granulosus, and ICT had a high specificity, opening the possibility of using ICT as a screening tool in rural settings.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of clinical microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Taenia solium cysticercosis is a common parasitic infection of humans and pigs. We evaluated the posttreatment evolution of circulating parasite-specific antigen titers in 693 consecutive blood samples from 50 naturally infected cysticercotic pigs, which received different regimes of antiparasitic drugs (N = 39, 7 groups), prednisone (N = 5), or controls (N = 6). Samples were collected from baseline to week 10 after treatment, when pigs were euthanized and carefully dissected at necropsy. Antigen levels decreased proportionally to the efficacy of treatment and correlated with the remaining viable cysts at necropsy (Pearson's p = 0.67, P = 0.000). A decrease of 5 times in antigen levels (logarithmic scale) compared with baseline was found in 20/26 pigs free of cysts at necropsy, compared with 1/24 of those who had persisting viable cysts (odds ratio [OR] = 76.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 8.1-3308.6, P < 0.001). Antigen monitoring reflects the course of infection in the pig. If a similar correlation exists in infected humans, this assay may provide a minimally invasive and easy monitoring assay to assess disease evolution and efficacy of antiparasitic treatment in human neurocysticercosis.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
  • Oscar H Del Brutto · Héctor H García
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    ABSTRACT: Human taeniasis as well as porcine and human cysticercosis - caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium - are ancient diseases. The fact that pigs were considered impure in the ancient Greece and that the Koran prohibited the consumption of pork, were likely related to the knowledge that cysticercosis may affect swine. Evidence suggests that human cysticercosis was also present in the ancient Egypt and Rome. During the Renaissance, the causative agent was properly identified and human cases were recognized. Confirmation that both taeniasis and cysticercosis were caused by the same parasite was provided during the 19th Century by German pathologists. During the 20th Century, bouts of human cysticercosis in non-endemic regions left us valuable lessons on the mechanisms of disease acquisition and spread. These included a large series of neurocysticercosis cases in the United Kingdom that occurred after the return of troops stationed in India (which demonstrated that symptoms may occur years after infection), the epidemic of cysticercosis-related epilepsy in the Ekari people of Papua New Guinea occurring after the gift of pigs with cysticercosis received from Indonesia (demonstrating the fast establishment of endemic transmission and the impact of cysticercosis in epilepsy frequency), and the occurrence of neurocysticercosis among members of an Orthodox Jewish community of New York City, related to Latin American Taenia carriers working in their houses (highlighting the fact that cysticercosis transmission do not require the presence of infected pigs). These lessons of history have significantly contributed to our current knowledge on this disease. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of the neurological sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Neurocysticercosis is caused by Taenia solium infecting the central nervous system and is the leading cause of acquired epilepsy and convulsive conditions worldwide. Research into the pathophysiology of the disease and appropriate treatment is hindered by lack of cost-effective and physiologically similar animal models. We generated a novel rat neurocysticercosis model using intracranial infection with activated T. solium oncospheres. Holtzman rats were infected in two separate groups: the first group was inoculated extraparenchymally and the second intraparenchymally, with different doses of activated oncospheres. The groups were evaluated at three different ages. Histologic examination of the tissue surrounding T. solium cysticerci was performed. Results indicate that generally infected rats developed cysticerci in the brain tissue after 4 months, and the cysticerci were observed in the parenchymal, ventricle, or submeningeal brain tissue. The route of infection did not have a statistically significant effect on the proportion of rats that developed cysticerci, and there was no dependence on infection dose. However, rat age was crucial to the success of the infection. Epilepsy was observed in 9% of rats with neurocysticercosis. In histologic examination, a layer of collagen tissue, inflammatory infiltrate cells, perivascular infiltrate, angiogenesis, spongy change, and mass effect were observed in the tissue surrounding the cysts. This study presents a suitable animal model for the study of human neurocysticercosis. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · American Journal Of Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of oxfendazole (OFZ) on Taenia hydatigena metacestodes, also called Cysticercus tenuicollis (C. tenuicollis), was studied in 648 raising pigs. This study was performed in Tumbes Department in Peru, an endemic area for cysticercosis. Pigs were randomized in two groups; untreated group (n = 142) did not receive any treatment and treated group (n = 506) received OFZ treatment at a single dose of 30 mg/kg body weight. Six months after treatment, the pigs were necropsied. The prevalence of infection by C. tenuicollis among the pigs was 27.5% (39/142) and 2.0% (10/506) in untreated and treated groups, respectively. Untreated group was infested only with viable cysts, whereas treated group had no viable cysts. All the cysts found in treated group presented degeneration, with a thick membrane, and they contained milky fluid and fibrous tissue. A single dose of OFZ was effective against C. tenuicollis, thus providing an alternative drug for controlling this parasite in pigs.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine

  • No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Epilepsia

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · The Lancet Infectious Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Cysticidal treatment of neurocysticercosis, an infection of humans and pig brains with Taenia solium, results in an early inflammatory response directed to cysts causing seizures and focal neurological manifestations. Treatment-induced pericystic inflammation and its association with blood brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction, as determined by Evans blue (EB) extravasation, was studied in infected untreated and anthelmintic-treated pigs. We compared the magnitude and extent of the pericystic inflammation, presence of EB-stained capsules, the level of damage to the parasite, expression of genes for proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines, chemokines, and tissue remodeling by quantitative PCR assays between treated and untreated infected pigs and between EB-stained (blue) and non stained (clear) cysts. Inflammatory scores were higher in pericystic tissues from EB-stained cysts compared to clear cysts from untreated pigs and also from anthelmintic-treated pigs 48 hr and 120 hr after treatment. The degree of inflammation correlated with the severity of cyst wall damage and both increased significantly at 120 hours. Expression levels of the proinflammatory genes for IL-6, IFN-γ, TNF-α were higher in EB-stained cysts compared to clear cysts and unaffected brain tissues, and were generally highest at 120 hr. Additionally, expression of some markers of immunoregulatory activity (IL-10, IL-2Rα) were decreased in EB-stained capsules. An increase in other markers for regulatory T cells (CTLA4, FoxP3) was found, as well as significant increases in expression of two metalloproteases, MMP1 and MMP2 at 48 hr and 120 hr post-treatment. We conclude that the increase in severity of the inflammation caused by treatment is accompanied by both a proinflammatory and a complex regulatory response, largely limited to pericystic tissues with compromised vascular integrity. Because treatment induced inflammation occurs in porcine NCC similar to that in human cases, this model can be used to investigate mechanisms involved in host damaging inflammatory responses and agents or modalities that may control damaging post treatment inflammation.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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    ABSTRACT: The CRONICAS Centre of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, based at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, was created in 2009 with support from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The vision of CRONICAS is to build a globally recognized center of excellence conducting quality and innovative research and generating high-impact evidence for health. The center's identity is embedded in its core values: generosity, innovation, integrity, and quality. This review has been structured to describe the development of the CRONICAS Centre, with a focus on highlighting the ongoing translational research projects and capacity-building strategies. The CRONICAS Centre of Excellence is not a risk-averse organization: it benefits from past experiences, including past mistakes, and improves upon them and thus challenges traditional research approaches. This ethos and environment are key to fostering innovation in research. Copyright © 2015 World Heart Federation (Geneva). All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015

Publication Stats

8k Citations
1,654.68 Total Impact Points


  • 1991-2015
    • Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
      • Facultad de Ciencia y Filosofía
      Λίμα, Lima, Peru
  • 2012-2014
    • Instituto Latinoamericano de Ciencias
      Λίμα, Lima, Peru
    • Oregon Health and Science University
      • Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine
      Portland, Oregon, United States
    • Pfizer Inc.
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1999-2014
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of International Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1995-2011
    • National University of San Marcos
      • Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria
      Λίμα, Lima, Peru
  • 2010
    • Ministerio de Salud del Perú
      Λίμα, Lima, Peru
  • 2008
    • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
      • Department of International Health
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Melbourne
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2005
    • National Institute of Health of Peru
      Λίμα, Provincia de Lima, Peru
  • 1991-2004
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
      Атланта, Michigan, United States
  • 2002
    • Environmental Working Group
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2000
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
      Borough of Manhattan, New York, United States
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • Section of Infectious Diseases
      Houston, TX, United States