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Parasitol Res. 2006 Sep;99(4):405-9. Epub 2006 Apr 1.

Visual diagnosis of Taenia saginata cysticercosis during meat inspection: is it unequivocal?

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Centre for Food Science, Institute for Food Quality and Safety, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173, Hannover, Germany.


A total of 267 cysts were collected from March to December 2004 from two main abattoirs in northern Germany. The cysts were classified by the usual organoleptic methods during meat inspection as Cysticercus bovis. The reported prevalence of cysticercosis in the abattoirs was 0.48 and 1.08%, respectively. The cysts were examined macroscopically for description of their morphology and constituents and classified as viable or degenerating (dead). The DNA was extracted from these cysts and subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for evaluation of the detection methods used and to make certain that the cysts did indeed belong to C. bovis, as indicated at the slaughterhouses. Two sets of primers were used with different sensitivity levels. The first, HDP1, was able to detect 200 fg of Taenia saginata DNA and 100 pg of C. bovis DNA. The other primer set, HDP2, was able to detect 1 pg of T. saginata DNA and 1 ng of C. bovis DNA. No more than 52.4% of the samples tested positive for C. bovis in the PCR using both primers, while 20% of the viable cysts and 49.2% of the degenerating cysts tested negative with both primers.

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