Neurocysticercosis (NC) is a clinically and radiologically heterogeneous parasitic disease caused by the establishment of larval Taenia solium
in the human central nervous system. Host and/or parasite variations may be related to this observed heterogeneity. Genetic differences between pig and human-derived T. solium
cysticerci have been reported previously. In this study, 28 cysticerci were surgically removed from 12 human NC patients, the mitochondrial gene that encodes cytochrome b was amplified from the cysticerci and genetic variations that may be related to NC heterogeneity were characterised. Nine different haplotypes (Ht), which were clustered in four haplogroups (Hg), were identified. Hg 3 and 4 exhibited a tendency to associate with age and gender, respectively. However, no significant associations were found between NC heterogeneity and the different T. solium
cysticerci Ht or Hg. Parasite variants obtained from patients with similar NC clinical or radiological features were genetically closer than those found in groups of patients with a different NC profile when using the Mantel test. Overall, this study establishes the presence of genetic differences in the Cytb
gene of T. solium
isolated from human cysticerci and suggests that parasite variation could contribute to NC heterogeneity.