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Proficiency testing to detect Trichinella larvae in meat in the European Union

Marucci, G., Tonanzi, D., Cherchi, S., Galati, F., Bella, A., Interisano, M., Ludovisi, A., Amati, A., Pozio, E.
Veterinary parasitology 2016 v.231 pp. 145-149
European Union, Trichinella spiralis, animals, horse meat, larvae, minced pork, parasites, slaughterhouses
According to the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1375 (replacing the Commission Regulation (EC) No 2075/2005), all animals, which are potential carriers of Trichinella spp. larvae, should be tested at the slaughterhouse or game-handling establishments according to one of the approved tests. One of the core duties of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Parasites is to organize proficiency testing (PT), as stated in the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The aim of this work was to evaluate the results of PTs of the digestion method carried out by the National Reference Laboratories for Parasites (NRLPs) over a nine year period (2007–2015). Participating laboratories received a panel of samples consisting in 35g or 100g of minced pork or horse meat spiked with Trichinella spiralis live larvae. The number of spiked samples varied from 2 to 9 over the years. A negative control was also included in the panel, except during the 2015 PT, when only positive samples were used. The percentage of NRLPs, which passed the PT, increased from 83.3% in 2007 to 100% in 2014. Considering the number of recovered larvae, the heterogeneity in participant’s results reduced overtime. The values of the overall mean difference between spiked and recovered larvae decreased during the study period, witnessing a general improvement of NRLPs performance and confirming the effectiveness of PT for a good performance of this test.