Thermo Fisher Scientific introduces new trichinella test

Method is alternative to currently used pepsin-based test.

Abattoirs and meat packers have a cleaner, safer way to test swine carcasses for trichinella at meat inspection — new PrioCHECK Trichinella AAD from Thermo Fisher Scientific. The alternative artificial digestion (AAD) method has been validated and approved by the European Union and is now listed in commission regulation (EC) 2075/2005.

"Monitoring the health of animals at harvest helps determine a precursor for food safety," said Martin Guillet, global head and general manager of animal health at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "Testing for trichinella at inspection is considered as an essential way to prevent zoonosis. Our solution contributes to this type of testing, helping to ensure the safety of the food source, and is in line with the Thermo Fisher Scientific mission of enabling customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer."

PrioCHECK Trichinella AAD is an alternative to the currently used pepsin-based artificial digestion method, because the test uses a recombinantly produced enzyme from a standardized and secured production facility, ensuring good availability of the enzyme and consistent quality. In addition, it does not use pepsin powder or hydrochloric acid, increasing ease of handling and worker safety.

The Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) for Trichinella in Rome, Italy, has extensively validated the performance of the PrioCHECK Trichinella AAD Kit and has approved the product as an official method for use in the in vitro detection of Trichinella spp. in meat of domesticated swine.

Laboratories do not have to change their testing routine since the protocol of the sample preparation method follows the same steps as that of the currently used pepsin-based method. A piece of muscle tissue is chopped, minced and then digested with digestive enzymes. In the case of PrioCHECK Trichinella AAD, this enzyme is a subtilisin. The digestion solution is filtered, and after sedimentation steps, examined by microscope for the presence of the larvae. All components of the PrioCHECK Trichinella AAD are liquid solutions, and no acid is to be added. Therefore, the risks associated with handling powder or concentrated acids are avoided.

Trichinellosis is a zoonotic disease (can be transmitted from animals to humans) that occurs worldwide and is caused by the larvae of the nematode (roundworm) trichinella. Humans can be infected by eating raw or insufficiently cooked meat. Under the European Commission (EC) Directive No. 2075/2005, all pigs slaughtered for human consumption have to be tested for Trichinella spp. by artificial digestion.

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