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      Hosts and habitats of Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella britovi in Europe.

      International Journal for Parasitology

      Animals, Animals, Domestic, parasitology, Animals, Wild, Carnivora, Cats, Disease Reservoirs, Dogs, Ecosystem, Europe, European Union, Mice, Rats, Rodentia, Sus scrofa, Swine, Trichinella, classification, isolation & purification, Trichinella spiralis

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          Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella britovi are the two most common species of Trichinella circulating in Europe. Based on data provided to the International Trichinella Reference Centre over the past 20 years (data referring to 540 isolates of T. spiralis and 776 isolates of T. britovi), we describe the host species and habitat characteristics for these two pathogens in Europe. A Geographical Information System was constructed using administrative boundaries, a Corine Land Cover (CLC) map, and an elevation map. In most countries, T. britovi is more widespread (62.5-100% of the isolates) than T. spiralis (0.0-37.5%), although in Finland, Germany, Poland and Spain, T. spiralis is more prevalent (56.3-84.2% of the isolates). Trichinella britovi is more widespread than T. spiralis in sylvatic carnivores (89% versus 11%), whereas T. spiralis is prevalent in both wild boars (62% versus 38%) and domestic swine (82% versus 18%), as well as in rodents (75% versus 25%). Trichinella spiralis and T. britovi circulate in the same environments: 41.1% and 46.0%, respectively, in agricultural areas, and 45.5% and 46.6% in forested and semi-natural areas. Although both pathogens can be transmitted by domestic and sylvatic cycles, their epidemiology is strongly influenced by the higher adaptability of T. spiralis to swine and of T. britovi to carnivores. These results are important because they include information on the countries at risk for these pathogens, the role played by specific species as reservoirs, the role of the pathogens in domestic and sylvatic cycles, and the role of the habitat in their circulation. The results can also be used to identify the most suitable animal species for the monitoring of these pathogens in Europe.

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