This study has investigated the prevalence and the potential risk factors associated to T. solium cysticercosis in pigs in Homa Bay district. The overall mean prevalence based on lingual palpation was 5.6% while by detection of circulating antigens the mean was 32.8% indicating that porcine cysticercosis is highly prevalent in this area. This figure is within a similar range to those reported elsewhere in endemic areas of Africa using Ag-ELISA. Prevalence estimates include, 23.3% in the Eastern, Southern and Western provinces of Zambia , 34.9% in Angonia district, Mozambique , 38.4% in Congo .
The high prevalence of cysticercosis found in this study is likely to relate to the popularity of free-range pig keeping, as the vast majority (98%) of pigs where kept under such a system for all or part of the year, despite its illegal status. This coupled with poor levels of latrine use sets up a perfect situation for perpetuation of the parasitic lifecycle, with pigs being exposed to infective eggs and proglottids in human faecal material.
Half (52%) of the households in this study had no latrines. Previous studies in Tanzania have reported an association between not having a farm latrine and occurrence of porcine cysticercosis . In this study, absence of a toilet or latrine supported by evidence of no use in homesteads with latrines was similarly the only significant risk factor for porcine infection identified.
The lower prevalence estimate by lingual palpation compared to Ag-ELISA is due to the lower sensitivity of the lingual palpation method. The HP10 Ag-ELISA has been reported to have an estimated sensitivity in pigs of 70.4% (52.7-84.7) , in comparison to an estimated sensitivity of between 7% (95% CI 0.8-15%)  and 16% (95% C.I. 5-34%)  for lingual palpation.
Several factors indicate that the community of Homa Bay district are at high risk of acquiring a T.solium infection. Approximately three-quarters of respondents reported eating pork at least once a year, Over 60% of pork slaughtered in the area was not inspected for cysticercosis, which combined with the high prevalence of the parasite in this population indicates that many of the pork meals consumed will be infected with T.solium. Infective eggs from T.solium can be passed to humans through faecal-oral contamination, be that by hands, food products or water. Less than 50% of respondents in this study reported boiling their drinking water, increasing the risk of acquiring many waterborne illnesses as well as Taenia solium.
It is interesting to note that over half of the respondents in this study were female. This was also seen in Tanzania [18, 23] and indicates that pig production is influenced strongly by women. It is important to remember this when designing control interventions, to ensure that female famers are targeted as strongly as their male counterparts.
Homa Bay district is a deprived area of Kenya, with low levels of employment, limited access to clean water, toilet facilities and refuse disposal. There is a growing demand for pork products and pig production can be utilized to improve the economic and nutritive well-being of farmers in this area. However, a free-range system, which exposes pigs to many diseases, including the zoonotic T. solium can result in poor profitability of these ventures. A lack of accessible veterinary services in the area is also a strong constraint upon the industry, as was reported by Mutua et al. and Kagira et al..