• Collaborative Studies for the Detection of spp. Infections in Humans within CYSTINET, the European Network on Taeniosis/Cysticercosis.

      Gómez-Morales, María Ángeles; Pezzotti, Patrizio; Ludovisi, Alessandra; Boufana, Belgees; Dorny, Pierre; Kortbeek, Titia; Blocher, Joachim; Schmidt, Veronika; Amati, Marco; Gabriël, Sarah; et al. (2021-05-29)
      Laboratory tools for diagnosing taeniosis/cysticercosis in non-endemic countries are available; however, there is little data on their performance. To provide information on the sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of these tools, inter-laboratory studies were organized within the EU COST-Action CYSTINET (TD1302). Two serological and one coprological Ring Trials (RTs) were organized to test a panel of human-derived sera and stool samples using assays routinely conducted by the participating laboratories to detect Taenia spp. infections. Four Western blots (WBs) and five ELISAs were used by nine laboratories for cysticercosis diagnosis. In the first serological RT, the overall sensitivity was 67.6% (95% CI, 59.1-75.4), whereas specificity was 97% (95% CI, 89.8-99.6). WBs recorded the best accuracy. A second serological RT was organized, to assess the three tests most frequently used during the first RT. Two out of six laboratories performed all the three tests. The overall sensitivity and specificity were 52.8% (95% CI, 42.8-62.7) and 98.1% (95% CI, 93.2-99.7), respectively. Laboratory performance strongly affected test results. Twelve laboratories participated in the coprological RT using conventional microscopy and six laboratories used molecular assays. Traditional diagnosis by microscopy yielded better results than molecular diagnosis. This may have been influenced by the lack of standardization of molecular tests across participating laboratories.
    • A quantitative risk assessment for human Taenia solium exposure from home slaughtered pigs in European countries.

      Meester, Marina; Swart, Arno; Deng, Huifang; van Roon, Annika; Trevisan, Chiara; Dorny, Pierre; Gabriël, Sarah; Vieira-Pinto, Madalena; Johansen, Maria Vang; Van Der Giessen, Joke (2019-02-12)
      Taenia solium, a zoonotic tapeworm, is responsible for about a third of all preventable epilepsy human cases in endemic regions. In Europe, adequate biosecurity of pig housing and meat inspection practices have decreased the incidence of T. solium taeniosis and cysticercosis. Pigs slaughtered at home may have been raised in suboptimal biosecurity conditions and slaughtered without meat inspection. As a result, consumption of undercooked pork from home slaughtered pigs could pose a risk for exposure to T. solium. The aim of this study was to quantify the risk of human T. solium exposure from meat of home slaughtered pigs, in comparison to controlled slaughtered pigs, in European countries. A quantitative microbial risk assessment model (QMRA) was developed and porcine cysticercosis prevalence data, the percentage of home slaughtered pigs, meat inspection sensitivity, the cyst distribution in pork and pork consumption in five European countries, Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Romania and Spain, were included as variables in the model. This was combined with literature about cooking habits to estimate the number of infected pork portions eaten per year in a country. The results of the model showed a 13.83 times higher prevalence of contaminated pork portions from home slaughtered pigs than controlled slaughtered pigs. This difference is brought about by the higher prevalence of cysticercosis in pigs that are home raised and slaughtered. Meat inspection did not affect the higher exposure from pork that is home slaughtered. Cooking meat effectively lowered the risk of exposure to T. solium-infected pork. This QMRA showed that there is still a risk of obtaining an infection with T. solium due to consumption of pork, especially when pigs are reared and slaughtered at home, using data of five European countries that reported porcine cysticercosis cases. We propose systematic reporting of cysticercosis cases in slaughterhouses, and in addition molecularly confirming suspected cases to gain more insight into the presence of T. solium in pigs and the risk for humans in Europe. When more data become available, this QMRA model could be used to evaluate human exposure to T. solium in Europe and beyond.