Hormones play a significant role in murine Taenia crassiceps cysticercosis, and they may also participate in the susceptibility to Taenia solium cysticercosis. In the present study, in vitro effects are reported for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) on the larval stages of T. crassiceps (WFU strain) and T. solium. hCG effectively promotes parasite reproduction, i.e., it increases the number of buds on T. crassiceps cysticerci and the percentage of evagination and parasite length in T. solium. This is the first report in which a direct effect of hCG is reported for a parasite. hCG or mouse luteinizing hormone could be recognized by the cysticerci as mitogenic factors and contribute to the female and pregnancy bias toward susceptibility to T. crassiceps and T. solium cysticercosis, respectively.
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