<OL> <LI> To develop a protocol for diagnostic and treatment procedures in suspected cases of human trichinellosis and create a system to collect and exchange information.
<LI> To compare the sensitivity and specificity of existing and newly developed tests for the diagnosis of trichinellosis at the early stage of infection and to evaluate the suitability of recombinant peptides from two Trichinella stages (New Born Larvae and Muscle Larvae) for an early human diagnosis.
<LI> To harmonise official meat inspection methods to detect Trichinella larvae in domestic pigs.
<LI> To maintain the Trichinella repository.
<LI> To identify reservoir(s) of Trichinella parasites and undertake a quantitative risk assessment for pork consumption in geographic areas where Trichinella infection in pigs has recently occurred (Poland, Corsica, Sardinia, Spain and others).
An algorithm, or protocol, that permits a prompt diagnosis of human trichinellosis and allows for early and effective treatment has been developed and is now publicly available. A database of human infections, combined with information on the location of outbreaks, has been established. Recombinant proteins have been produced to develop serodiagnostic tools. The level of infection among wildlife in various areas in Europe is being monitored and a repository of Trichinella for reference strains is in operation. The harmonization of veterinary control methods has become very important given the new EU regulations on zoonoses. This harmonization process has been initiated and proficiency samples are currently being selected to be distributed at a later date. <P>
Epidemiological surveys have been conducted on Sardinia, a recently contaminated area, and in Romania, which is one of the most heavily contaminated countries in the world. T britovi was identified in Sardinia and also in Corsica (another Island where Trichinella is emerging). In Romania, T spiralis and T britovi were characterized both in wild animal and domestic pigs and human infection is common. The analysis of a "dose-response model" for human infection, predicted that a small quantity of Trichinella muscle larvae is sufficient to establish an infection. With the work conducted it is now possible to quantify the probability of infection for risk assessment studies