Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and control of trichinellosis

Gottstein, B.; Pozio, E.; Nöckler, K.

Throughout much of the world, Trichinella spp. are found to be the causative agents of human trichinellosis, a disease that not only is a public health hazard by affecting human patients but also represents an economic problem in porcine animal production and food safety. Due to the predominantly zoonotic importance of infection, the main efforts in many countries have focused on the control of Trichinella or the elimination of Trichinella from the food chain. The most important source of human infection worldwide is the domestic pig, but, e.g., in Europe, meats of horses and wild boars have played a significant role during outbreaks within the past 3 decades. Infection of humans occurs with the ingestion of Trichinella larvae that are encysted in muscle tissue of domestic or wild animal meat. Early clinical diagnosis of trichinellosis is rather difficult because pathognomonic signs or symptoms are lacking. Subsequent chronic forms of the disease are not easy to diagnose, irrespective of parameters including clinical findings, laboratory findings (nonspecific laboratory parameters such as eosinophilia, muscle enzymes, and serology), and epidemiological investigations. New regulations laying down rules for official controls for Trichinella in meat in order to improve food safety for consumers have recently been released in Europe. The evidence that the disease can be monitored and to some extent controlled with a rigorous reporting and testing system in place should be motivation to expand appropriate programs worldwide

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Gottstein, B. / Pozio, E. / Nöckler, K.: Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and control of trichinellosis. 2009.

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