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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2013 Jul;19(7):586-94. doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12162. Epub 2013 Feb 12.

Pork as a source of human parasitic infection.

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Serbian Centre for Parasitic Zoonoses, Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.


Foodborne zoonoses have been estimated to annually affect 10% of the global population, among which zoonotic parasites constitute an important class of aetiological agents. The major meatborne parasites include the protozoa Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis spp., and the helminths Trichinella spp. and Taenia spp., all of which may be transmitted by pork. The significance of zoonotic parasites transmitted by pork consumption is emphasized by the prediction by the Food and Agriculture Organization of an 18.5% increase in world pork production over the next 10 years. Of all the porkborne parasites, the three 'T' parasites have been responsible for most porkborne illness throughout history; they are still endemic, and therefore are important public-health concerns, in developing countries. Although the risk of porkborne parasites, particularly helminths, may currently be considered insignificant in developed countries, the modern trend of consuming raw meat favours their re-emergence. This paper overviews the main parasites transmitted to humans by pork, and outlines the main lines of prevention.

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