Serological methods are widely used for detection of infections in animals and humans. The recommendations provided here take into account the best current methods for the serological detection of Trichinella infection. They are based on current scientific information including unpublished data from laboratories with relevant expertise in this field. These recommendations represent the official position of the International Commission on Trichinellosis (ICT) regarding acceptable methods for the use and interpretation of serology testing for Trichinella infection in animals and humans.
The ICT does not recommend use of serological methods for testing individual carcasses of animals at slaughter for assuring food safety. For detection of human infections, for epidemiological studies in animals and humans, and for monitoring Trichinella infection in swine, the ICT recommends ELISA using excretory/secretory (ES) antigens. These antigens are obtained from the in-vitro maintenance of Trichinella spiralis muscle larvae and are recognized by sera from hosts infected by all Trichinella species and genotypes identified thus far. In most situations, positive results obtained by ELISA should be confirmed by western blot. Serological assays should be properly standardized and validated for their intended purpose. The components of the test that are critical for maintaining suitable performance should be identified and appropriately checked. Users of commercial tests should verify that the test has been adequately evaluated by an independent body. Serology is useful for detecting Trichinella in animals and humans but its limitations need to be taken into account when interpreting the results.