Date of this Version
2005 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc.
In West Africa, Trichinella infection was documented in humans and animals from Senegal in the 1960s, and the biological characters of one isolate showed a lower infectivity to domestic pigs and rodents when compared with that of a Trichinella spiralis pig isolate from Europe. To identify the Trichinella species present in West Africa, a survey was conducted in a total of 160 wild animals in the Republic of Guinea. Three Viverridae, one true civet (Viverra civetta) and two African palm civets (Nandinia binotata) from the Fouta Djallon Massif, Pilimini Subprefecture, were found positive by artificial digestion of muscle samples. Trichinella larvae from these three viverrids were identified as Trichinella britovi and no difference was detected in three examined sequences from these African isolates and the reference strain of T. britovi from Europe, indicating common ancestry, an historically continuous geographic distribution, and recent isolation for African and European populations. The detection of T. britovi in West Africa modifies our knowledge about the distribution of encapsulated species of Trichinella in Africa. Thus, Trichinella nelsoni is now considered to have a distribution limited to the Eastern part of the Afrotropical region from Kenya to South Africa. This provides a plausible explanation for the presence of Trichinella T8 in Namibia and South Africa, and further suggests that T. britovi could be the Trichinella species circulating among wild animals of Northern Africa.