Trichinella infection in wild animals from endemic regions of Argentina.

Research paper by Mabel M Ribicich, H R HR Gamble, Jorge J Bolpe, Exequiel E Scialfa, Silvio S Krivokapich, Natalia N Cardillo, Adriana A Betti, Maria Laura Cambiaggi ML Holzmann, Mariana M Pasqualetti, Fernando F Fariña, Adriana A Rosa

Indexed on: 29 Apr '10Published on: 29 Apr '10Published in: Parasitology Research


Natural infection with Trichinella has been described in more than 150 mammalian species. However, few reports of Trichinella infection in wild animals have come from Argentina. In this study, muscle tissue was obtained from wild animals in Argentina with the aim of evaluating the presence of Trichinella. A total of 169 muscle samples were collected to determine the presence of Trichinella larvae by artificial digestion. The 169 muscle samples originated from 12 species including 36 opossums (Didelphis albiventris), 19 armadillos (Chaetophractus villosus), 9 capybaras (Hydrocaeris hydrocaeris), 1 puma (Puma concolor), 3 grey fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus), 6 coypus (Myocastor coypus), 6 skunks (Conepatus chinga), 2 ferrets (Galictis cuja), 66 rats (Rattus norvegicus), 6 mice (Mus musculus), 12 wild boars (Sus scrofa), and 3 wild cats (Felis geoffroyi). Trichinella infection was detected in 1 puma [2 larvae per gram (LPG)], 3 wild boars (8-420 LPG), 3 armadillos (0.04-0.08 LPG), and 9 rats (0.1 to 150 LPG). Only 3 Trichinella isolates, of 1 rat and 2 wild boars from Neuquén, were identified as Trichinella spiralis by nested PCR. The presence of Trichinella infection among wild animal populations suggests a sylvatic cycle of transmission in Argentina, which can serve as a reservoir for humans and domestic animals. Further, evidence of high prevalence in rats emphasizes the need to improve pig management, mainly in small individual farms without adequate technology, to enhance the quality of feeds, and to improve veterinary services to avoid exposure of pigs to Trichinella.