Validation of a Western Blot for the detection of anti-Trichinella spp. antibodies in domestic pigs

Parasitol Res. 2009 Jun;104(6):1269-77. doi: 10.1007/s00436-008-1321-9. Epub 2009 Jan 7.


Trichinellosis is a zoonotic disease in humans caused by Trichinella spp. According to international regulations and guidelines, serological surveillance can be used to demonstrate the absence of Trichinella spp. in a defined domestic pig population. Most enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests presently available do not yield 100% specificity, and therefore, a complementary test is needed to confirm the diagnosis of any initial ELISA seropositivity. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a Western Blot assay based on somatic Trichinella spiralis muscle stage (L1) antigen using Bayesian modeling techniques. A total of 295 meat juice and serum samples from pigs negative for Trichinella larvae by artificial digestion, including 74 potentially cross-reactive sera of pigs with other nematode infections, and 93 meat juice samples from pigs infected with Trichinella larvae were included in the study. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the Western Blot were ranged from 95.8% to 96.0% and from 99.5% to 99.6%, respectively. A sensitivity analysis showed that the model outcomes were hardly influenced by changes in the prior distributions, providing a high confidence in the outcomes of the models. This validation study demonstrated that the Western Blot is a suitable method to confirm samples that reacted positively in an initial ELISA.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth / blood*
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Blotting, Western / methods*
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Humans
  • Meat / parasitology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Swine Diseases / parasitology
  • Trichinella / immunology*
  • Trichinellosis / diagnosis
  • Trichinellosis / veterinary*


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Helminth Proteins