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Trichinosis test in trials.

Trichinosis test in trials

Field trials are being conducted on an assay for trichinosis inpork, which may someday be used to screen for the approximately 90,000 hogs slaughtered each year in the United States that carry the parasite. The test kit--developed by Idetek, Inc., of San Bruno, Calif., and based on work done at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Md.--uses an antigen-antibody reaction.

Zoologist H. Ray Gamble of the Beltsville lab says the test canbe performed without complicated laboratory equipment and is 95 percent accurate. Blood samples from the animals are assayed for antibodies to Trichinella spiralis, which can cause medical problems when people eat it in undercooked pork. According to Gamble, the test will not be commercially available until the field trials are completed.

Gamble says the latest figures on trichinosis show wide regionalvariation: In the Midwest, about one hog in 100,000 carries the parasite, but in the East, rates can be as high as one in 100. Illinois is one of the few places in the United States where state officials are allowed to destroy infected hogs.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 10, 1987
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