Submitted to: Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, Third Edition
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Foodborne parasites have undoubtedly had an impact on human health throughout history. They are important from the standpoint of having a direct effect on the well-being of humans who almost universally consume animal meats as a source of protein and other nutrients. They also serve as an obstacle to countries where a high prevalence of zoonotic parasites in livestock may prevent commerce with countries where these parasites are rare. This book focuses on 4 major zoonotic pathogens Trichinella spp., Taenia solium, Taenia asiatica and Taenia saginata that demonstrate a persistence in both developed and developing countries, and in some cases have reemerged as a viable threat to human health. In particular, this presentation evaluates current and past information on the infection, epidemiology, morphological and genetic diagnosis, control, clinical manifestation and treatment of these pathogens and their associated disease states. This collection and interpretation of facts and data provides an important and valuable source of knowledge for teaching, as well as single source background information for scientists and clinicians to advance research on these pathogens.
Technical Abstract: Foodborne parasites pose a risk to human health in virtually all regions of the world. In addition to the direct effect that these parasites have on human health, zoonotic parasites found in food animals often serve as trade barriers for countries where these parasites occur. A considerable body of legislation has been developed for purposes of prevention and control of zoonotic parasites in food animals, including very costly meat inspection programs. There are four meatborne helminths of medical significance: Trichinella spp., Taenia solium, and Taenia asiatica, which occur primarily in pork, and Taenia saginata, which is found in beef. Despite the availability of sensitive, specific diagnostic tests, veterinary public health programs (meat inspection) and effective chemotherapeutic agents for human tapeworm carriers, these parasites continue to be a threat to public health throughout the world. There are a variety of reasons for this, including animal management systems which perpetuate infection, inadequate or poorly enforced inspection requirements for slaughtered animals, new sources of infection, and demographic changes in human populations that introduce new culinary practices of preparing meats. Thus, current control and preventive procedures are often inadequate, and more effective control measures are needed to ensure safe meat for human consumption.