Trichinella britovi

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Nematoda
Class: Adenophorea
Order: Trichocephalida
Family: Trichinellidae
Genus: Trichinella
Species: T. britovi
Binomial name
Trichinella britovi

Trichinella britovi is a nematode parasite responsible for a zoonotic disease called trichinellosis. Currently, eight species of Trichinella are known,[1] only three of which cause trichinellosis, and Trichinella britovi is one of them.[2] Numerous mammal species, as well as birds and crocodiles,[1][2] can harbor the parasite worldwide, but the sylvatic cycle is mainly maintained by wild carnivores.[2]

Humans represent only a possible host and the parasite is exclusively transmitted through consumption of raw or rare meat.[2] In Europe, pork, wild boar meat, and horse meat are the main sources for human infection.[2]

Because of mandatory veterinary controls in slaughterhouses, large trichinellosis outbreaks due to horse meat consumption are rare, but cases in hunters and their families after raw or rare wild boar meat consumption are regularly reported, with over 100 cases since 1975.[3]

T. britovi in wild boar is relatively resistant to freezing. It was observed in France that meat from naturally infected wild boar meat frozen for three weeks at −20 °C (−4 °F) remained infectious, whereas the parasites were not viable after four weeks.[4]

In the 1960s, "trichinella infection" was documented in Senegal, West Africa. A survey of 160 wild animals from that region produced plausible evidence that European strains may have originated in Africa. It has also been proposed that strains of T. britovi are isolated to both African and European populations.[5]


To prevent trichinellosis, an official European directive[6] recommends the freezing of meat at −25 °C (−13 °F) for at least 10 days for pieces of meat less than 25 cm (10 in) in thickness. Patients froze wild boar steaks at −35 °C (−31 °F) for seven days, but this freezing time appears insufficient to kill larvae, since T. britovi is a species relatively resistant to freezing.[7]

Thus according to the International Commission on Trichinellosis, meat should be heated at 65 °C (149 °F) for at least 1 minute to kill Trichinella larvae; larvae die when the color of the meat at the core changes from pink to brown.[8]


  1. ^ a b Mowlavi, G., Marucci, G., Mobedi, I., Zahabiioon, F., Mirjalali, H., Pozio, E., Trichinella britovi in a leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Iran. Veterinary Parasitology. 2009. 164:350–352
  2. ^ a b c d e Gari-Toussaint, M., Tieulié, N., Baldin, J.L, Dupouy-Camet, J., Delaunay, P., Fuzibet, J.G., , Fichoux, Y. L., Pozio, E., Marty, P. Human trichinellosis due to Trichinella britovi in Southern France after consumption of wild boar meat. Eurosurveillance. 2005; 10(6): 117–118
  3. ^ Dupoy-Camet J. Ancelle T. Zoonoses parasitaires transmises par la chair animale en France. La Lettre de l'Infectiologue. 2002; XVII (5): 143–148
  4. ^ Pozio E. La Rosa G, Mignone W. Amati M, Ercolini C. Sopravvivenza delle larve muscolari di Trichinella britovi nei muscoli congelati di cinghiale. Archivo veterinario italiano. 1992: 43 (2): 57–60
  5. ^ Pozio, E.; Pagani P.; Marucci G.; Zarlenga D. S.; et al. (1971). "Trichinella britovi etiological agent of sylvatic trichinellosis in the Republic of Guinea (West Africa) and a re-evaluation of geographical distribution for encapsulated species in Africa". International Journal of Parasitology (abstract) (Elsevier Science). Retrieved 8 December 2009. 
  6. ^ Council Directive 77/96/EEC of 21 December 1976 on the examination for trichinae (Trichinella spiralis) upon importation from third countries of fresh meat derived from domestic swine. O.J. No L26 of 31.1.1977, p. 67.
  7. ^ Pozio E, Zarlenga DS. Recent advances on the taxonomy, systematics and epidemiology of Trichinella. International Journal for Parasitology. In Press.
  8. ^ Gamble HR, Bessonov AS, Cuperlovic, K, Gajadhar AA, van Knapen F, Noeckler, K, Schenone H, Zhu, X. International Commission on Trichinellosis: recommendations on methods for the control of Trichinella in domestic and wild animals intended for human consumption. Veterinary Parasitology 1 December 2000; 93(3–4):393–408.