Assessing the zoonotic potential of Ascaris suum and Trichuris suis: looking to the future from an analysis of the past

J Helminthol. 2012 Jun;86(2):148-55. doi: 10.1017/S0022149X12000193. Epub 2012 Mar 19.


The two geohelminths, Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura, infect more than a billion people worldwide but are only reported sporadically in the developed part of the world. In contrast, the closely related species A. suum and T. suis in pigs have a truly global distribution, with infected pigs found in most production systems. In areas where pigs and humans live in close proximity or where pig manure is used as fertilizer on vegetables for human consumption, there is a potential risk of cross-infections. We therefore review this relationship between Ascaris and Trichuris in the human and pig host, with special focus on recent evidence concerning the zoonotic potential of these parasites, and identify some open questions for future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascariasis / parasitology
  • Ascariasis / transmission
  • Ascariasis / veterinary*
  • Ascaris suum / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / parasitology*
  • Swine Diseases / transmission
  • Trichuriasis / parasitology
  • Trichuriasis / transmission
  • Trichuriasis / veterinary*
  • Trichuris / isolation & purification*
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology*
  • Zoonoses / parasitology*