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Patterns and risks of trichinella infection in humans and pigs in northern Laos

Conlan, J.V., Vongxay, K., Khamlome, B., Gómez-Morales, M.A., Pozio, E., Blacksell, S.D., Fenwick, S. and Thompson, R.C.A. (2014) Patterns and risks of trichinella infection in humans and pigs in northern Laos. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 8 (7).

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Several outbreaks of trichinellosis associated with the consumption of raw pork have occurred in Laos since 2004. This cross-sectional study was conducted in four provinces of northern Laos to investigate the seroepidemiology of trichinellosis in the human population and determine the prevalence and species of Trichinella infection in the domestic pig population. Serum samples and questionnaire data were obtained from 1419 individuals. Serum samples were tested for Trichinella antibodies by ELISA using larval excretory–secretory (ES) antigens and a subset of 68 positive samples were tested by western blot. The seroprevalence of Trichinella antibodies was 19.1% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 17.1–21.1%). The risk of having antibodies detected by ELISA using ES antigens increased with age, being of Lao-Tai ethnicity, living in Oudomxay province and being male. Tongue and diaphragm muscle samples were collected from 728 pigs and tested for Trichinella larvae by the artificial digestion method. Trichinella larvae were isolated from 15 pigs (2.1%) of which 13 were identified as T. spiralis by molecular typing; the species of the two remaining isolates could not be determined due to DNA degradation. Trichinella spp. are endemic in the domestic environment of northern Laos and targeted preventative health measures should be initiated to reduce the risk of further outbreaks occurring.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2014 Conlan et al.
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