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Title: SEROPREVALENCE OF TRICHINELLA SPIRALIS IN DOMESTIC SWINE BASED ON THE 1990 AND 1995 NATIONAL ANIMAL HEALTH MONITORING SURVEY

Author
item Gamble, Howard
item BUSH, E

Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/21/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis has an historical association with pork. Consumer avoidance of fresh pork products is most closely associated with the knowledge that pork may contain trichinae and therefore must be cooked thoroughly to avoid risk of exposure. This thinking is rooted in high level of infection in pigs in the early 1900's (1.5%) and high rates of human infection (17-22% of the population). Due to major improvements in hog management and regulations governing the feeding of waste products to hogs, infection with Trichinella has declined dramatically. The most recent national survey put the infection rate in hogs at 0.125%. In this study, we have tested serum samples collected by APHIS as part of the five year national hog health surveys, for the presence of antibodies to Trichinella. Our findings suggest that the prevalence of this parasite is much lower than previously reported. Only 1 1sample from a total of 7987 samples collected in 1995 was positive for antibodies to Trichinella (0.013%). These results should be useful to the U.S. pork industry in promoting the safety of pork to both domestic consumers and international trading partners.

Technical Abstract: Swine sera collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Animal Health Monitoring during 1990 and 1995, was tested for antibodies to Trichinella spiralis using an enzyme immunoassay. From a total of 3048 sera collected in 1990, three sera tested positive and two sera were suspect for a prevalence of 0.16%. From a total of 7987 sera collected in 1995, one serum was positive for a prevalence of 0.013%. Responses to questionnaires administered at the time of serum collection showed that seropositive farms had risk factors consistent with those known to be important for exposure to trichinae.