Focus of human trichinellosis in Papua New Guinea.

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  • 1 Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Boroko, Papua New Guinea.

Human trichinellosis and teniasis (Taenia solium) are meat-borne helminthic infections with a wide distribution throughout the world. However, there is little information on the prevalence of these infections in Papua New Guinea. In 1999, serum samples were collected from 97 people in 6 villages in the remote Bensbach area of Papua New Guinea. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot analyses were used to detect anti-Trichinella immunoglobulin (Ig) G and anti-cysticercus IgG in this population. The prevalence of Trichinella antibodies among inhabitants of the Bensbach area was 28.9% (28 of 97; 67.8% in men), suggesting a high consumption of poorly cooked meat. The higher prevalence of infection for Trichinella in men compared with women may be explained by the inclination of men to eat undercooked pork while hunting. All serum samples were negative for cysticercus antibodies. This is to our knowledge the first serosurvey showing anti-Trichinella antibodies in a human population living in Papua New Guinea (Australian region).