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Safe pork and horse meat on EU-markets:
Early and unbiased diagnostic tests for Trichinella

Contract number : QLK1-2001-01156
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 1.685.773
EC contribution : € 1.281.129
Starting date : 1/01/2001
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Antonio di Giulio
Project website : not yet available
Mr Pascal Boireau
7, avenue du Général de Gaulle
94704 Maisons-Alfort Cedex
Tel: +33 1 43 96 71 11
Fax: +33 1 43 96 72 41
E-mail: p.boireau @

The final aim of this project is to ensure that meat put on the market is Trichinella-free. An overview of the main Trichinella strains infecting wild and domestic animals in Europe will be performed targeting reference isolates. The development of a method to enable an earlier serological diagnosis of trichinellosis in pigs before or after slaughter by a capture ELISA using monoclonal antibodies with high affinity for epitopes specific to the invasive stage of Trichinella, and indirect ELISA using recombinant antigens, will avoid the risk period of contamination for humans. Horsemeat control, based on the direct identification of the parasite after muscle digestion will be improved by the development of a new reading method using an image analysis system, an automation, a self-calibrating and the determination of a the highest Trichinella infected and most readily digested muscles in horse.


  • Determination of highly infected muscles in experimentally infected horses, using European Trichinella strains.
  • Generation of reference material from horses and pigs infected by different European Trichinella strains. For each strain, infected horse meat (experimentally or naturally), sera from naturally or experimentally infected pigs, will be collected. Such reference material will be used to calibrate and validate the indirect and the automated detection methods of the parasite.
  • Development of early ELISAs for pigs using purified recombinant antigens coming from invasive stages or monoclonal antibodies raised against new born larvae. Such tests will overcome the "diagnostic window" responsible of failures with traditional serological method.
  • Improvement and automation of the digestion method to reduce the time burden and increase security concerning trichinellosis diagnosis.


Federal Institute for Health Protection of Consumers and Veterinary Medecine
Diedersdorfer Weg 1
12277 Berlin
Institut Pourquier S.A.
326, Rue de la Galéra
34090 Montpellier
Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Viale Regina Elena 299
00161 Rome
The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
Ridebanevej 3
1870 Frederiksberg C
Universidad de Extremadura
Plaza de Cladereros
10071 Cáceres
W. Stefanski Institute of Parasitology
Polish Academy of Sciences
Twarda Straße 51/55
00-818 Warszawa
Parasitological Institute
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Hlinkova 3
040 01 Kosice
Slovak Republic
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
105, Splaiul Independentei
Sector 5
Microvision Instruments
8 Rue du Forez Ce 1750
91047 Evry

Fifth Framework Programme

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