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.