What is trichinellosis: trichinellosis is a world-wide zoonosis. Humans acquire the infection by
consuming raw or improperly cooked infected meat from wild and synanthropic
carnivores and omnivores (mammals, birds and reptiles) and pigs, horses, and other domestic animals infected with
larve of nematode worms of the genus Trichinella.(Figure 1)
All recognised species and genotypes can infect humans.
For more information, see the web site of the International Commission on Trichinellosis.
History of the International Trichinella Reference Centre (ITRC): the ITRC is the official reference
laboratory of both the International Commission on Trichinellosis (since 1988) and the World Organization for Animal Health (since 1992). The ITRC was created as a repository for Trichinella strains and
as a source of materials and information for the international research and it has been remarkably
successful in this regard.
The ITRC today: to date, 1800 isolates of human and animal origin from throughout
the world have been examined and identified at the species and/or genotype level. More than 80 isolates are maintained in vivo. These data have been vital to the recent
establishment of a new taxonomic system for Trichinella, which has had a great impact on the epidemiology
and clinical management of these parasites.
ITRC users: more than 200 researchers from 45 countries have relied on the ITRC to identify isolates,
to receive reference strains, antigens, DNA, specific probes, epidemiological information,
and reference sera from animals and humans.
Trichinella systematics and distribution: two main clades are recognised in the genus Trichinella;
one that encompasses eight species that encapsulate in host muscle tissue, and a second (including
three species) that does not encapsulate following muscle cell differentiation. Trichinella nematodes
show virtually a world wide distribution in domestic and/or sylvatic animals, with the exception of
For more information
Worldwide occurrence of Trichinella infections: consult the Epidemiological database to know if Trichinella infection occurs in humans and in domestic and wild animals of a country. The information is based on both old and recent reports published in scientific journals,
books, congress abstracts, web sites, etc. The lack of information for a country (displayed as “no” in the database) does not mean that these zoonotic parasites are not present, but it
means mostly the lack of information.