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      A 38-year study on Trichinella spp. in wild boar ( Sus scrofa) of Latvia shows a stable incidence with an increased parasite biomass in the last decade

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          Trichinella spp. are zoonotic parasites transmitted to humans by the consumption of raw or insufficiently cooked meat of different animal species. The most common source of infection for humans is meat from pigs and wild boar ( Sus scrofa). The aim of the present work was to evaluate the incidence of Trichinella spp. infections in wild boar hunted in Latvia over a 38 year interval (1976 to 2013).


          A total 120,609 wild boars were individually tested for Trichinella spp. by trichinoscopy and, in case of negativity, by artificial digestion of 25 g muscles, in the 1976–2005 period, and by artificial digestion of 25–50 g muscles in the 2006–2013 period. Trichinella spp. larvae were identified at the species level by multiplex PCR.


          In the study period, the overall prevalence of infected wild boar was 2.5%. Trichinella britovi was the predominant (90%) species. The incidence of Trichinella spp. infection in wild boar exhibited two different trends. From 1976 to 1987, the incidence of infected/hunted wild boar increased from 0.23% to 2.56%, then it decreased to 0.19 in 1994. Thereafter, the incidence fluctuated between 0.05% and 0.37%. A statistically significant ( P < 0.05) correlation (r = 0.54; p = 0.0199) was found between the trend of Trichinella spp. incidence in hunted wild boar and the number of snow cover days from 1976 to 1993. From 1997 to 2013, the estimated wild boar population of Latvia increased by 4.9 times and the hunting bag by 9.7 times, with a stable incidence of Trichinella spp. in the population. It follows that the biomass of Trichinella spp. larvae and of T. britovi, in particular, increased.


          The incidence trends of Trichinella spp. in wild boar could be related to the role played by the snow in reducing the thermal shock and muscle putrefaction which increases the survival of the larvae in muscle tissues of carrion in the 1976–1993 period; and, in the 1997–2013 period, to the increased biomass of Trichinella spp. due to the increased carnivore populations, which are the main reservoirs of these parasites.

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          Most cited references 47

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          New pieces of the Trichinella puzzle.

          Contrary to our understanding of just a few decades ago, the genus Trichinella now consists of a complex assemblage of no less than nine different species and three additional genotypes whose taxonomic status remains in flux. New data and methodologies have allowed advancements in detection and differentiation at the population level which in turn have demonstrably advanced epidemiological, immunological and genetic investigations. In like manner, molecular and genetic studies have permitted us to hypothesise biohistorical events leading to the worldwide dissemination of this genus, and to begin crystalising the evolution of Trichinella on a macro scale. The identification of species in countries and continents otherwise considered Trichinella-free has raised questions regarding host adaptation and associations, and advanced important findings on the biogeographical histories of its members. Using past reviews as a backdrop, we have ventured to present an up-to-date assessment of the taxonomy, phylogenetic relationships and epidemiology of the genus Trichinella with additional insights on host species, survival strategies in nature and the shortcomings of our current understanding of the epidemiology of the genus. In addition, we have begun compiling information available to date on genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics and population studies of consequence in the hope we can build on this in years to come. Copyright © 2013 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Searching for Trichinella: not all pigs are created equal.

            Each year, millions of pigs worldwide are tested for Trichinella spp. at slaughterhouses with negative results. Yet, thousands of people acquire trichinellosis by consuming pork. So, where is the problem? Testing for Trichinella spp. is often performed on the 'wrong' animals; while the parasites are mainly circulating in backyard and free-ranging pigs, herds kept under controlled management conditions are the ones tested. Veterinary services should: (i) introduce a risk-based surveillance system for Trichinella by documenting the control of housing conditions and feedstuff sources, and (ii) introduce a capillary network of field laboratories for monitoring the parasites in free-ranging and backyard pigs. Investment of funds into the education of farmers, hunters, and consumers should be a priority for public health services. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              How does Trichinella spiralis make itself at home?

              The nurse cell-parasite complex of Trichinella spiralis is unlike anything else in Nature. It is derived from a normal portion of striated skeletal muscle cell and develops in a matter of 15 to 20 days after the larva invades that cell type. What are the molecular mechanisms at work that result in this unique relationship? Here, Dickson Despommier presents a hypothesis to account for its formation, in which secreted tyvelosylated proteins of the larva play a central role. These proteins are always present in the intracellular niche of the larva from Day 7 after infection and may be responsible for redirecting host genomic expression, leading to nurse cell formation.

                Author and article information

                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                1 March 2015
                1 March 2015
                : 8
                [ ]Daugavpils University, Institute of Life Sciences and Technology, Daugavpils, Latvia
                [ ]Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment “BIOR”, Riga, Latvia
                [ ]European Union Reference Laboratory for Parasites, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
                [ ]CNESPS, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
                [ ]SIDBAE, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
                [ ]Riga Stradiņš University, Riga, Latvia
                © Kirjušina et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                trichinella britovi, latvia, wild boar, sus scrofa, incidence, epidemiology, biomass, snow cover, carnivore


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