Trichinellosis is a disease of veterinary interest, as it is present mainly in pigs and wild boar. Moreover another animal species particularly interested by the trichinella is the equine species. Other species are represented by wild animals, such as lagomorphs (hares, dwarf rabbits etc.). Animals are affected by parasites particularly in muscle masses. The most affected muscle is the diaphragm (pillars), followed by the masseters, the intercostal muscles.
The prophylaxis is based on the systematic introduction in the slaughterhouses of the trichinoscopic examination, with which it is possible to detect the presence of the parasite in the muscles. The examination is carried out on diaphragm samples of pigs and equines. The examination is carried out by veterinarians who, after taking the samples, carry out the examination after appropriate preparations, which provide for the predigestion with hydrochloric acid and pepsin.
Recently the technical commission of the European Union has introduced new regulations to contain the phenomenon of proliferation of the parasite that could spread from Eastern European countries to cattle in the rest of Europe. The new regulations on trichinellosis (EC Regulation No. 2075/2005 and subsequent additions) provide for the systematic examination of all equine animals, wild boars and all boars and sows. Only pigs for fattening can be examined in a number equal to 10% of the slaughtered animals provided they come from farms recognized as free from the disease and certified by the Health Authorities. Special lists of laboratories are prepared in all the Italian Regions and in the Autonomous Provinces, in which the centers authorized to perform the analyzes will be registered. In case of positivity to the disease found in an animal, the new regulations require that the investigations be extended to all the animals belonging to the consignment to which the infested animal belonged and subsequently to those of the areas close to those of origin of the same. Then the new mandatory traceability procedures introduced by EC Commission Decision n. 178.