We conducted a serologic survey of swine in the state of Georgia for
a number of years using repetitive ELISA as a discovery test and the
Western Blot as a confirmatory test. About 40,000 samples were
studied and we found less than one-half percent swine to be infected.
Of interest, swine from farms that were certified brucellosis and
pseudorabies free had virtually no reactive samples.
It is my impression that most trichinellosis occurs in people who
have eaten swine obtained from small, "back yard" growers who market
meat locally. Most of the recent outbreaks of trichinellosis have
occurred in immigrants, usually from Asia, who have ingested
traditionally prepared pork products. There was a recent outbreak in
Iowa amongst Vietnamese (I believe) who ate a traditional pork
sausage. This resulted in over 90 infections. These large outbreaks
are unusual since the pork products sold primarily in our supermarket
chains are virtually free of the parasite. Because of these small
time operations, we still must cook pork products to 140F or greater.
Annie K. Prestwood
College of Veterinary Medicine
The University of Georgia
prestwood.a at calc.vet.uga.edu