Balantidium coli in Pigs Regularly Slaughtered at Abattoirs of the Province of Messina: Hygienic Observations


Balantidium coli is a zoonotic protozoan parasite, and pork is considered the major source of Balantidium infection in humans. Transmission is direct and commonly occurs through the ingestion of water and food, especially vegetables, contaminated with infectious cysts. Ingestion of meat contaminated, with faecal material during the evisceration process, can represent a potential risk of B. coli transmission. In order to determine the rate of B. coli infection in pigs regularly slaughtered at abattoirs in the province of Messina (Sicily, Italy), faecal samples of 242 pigs (122 commercial hybrid and 120 Nero Siciliano pigs) were collected and evaluated by standard methods for the presence of trophozoites and/or cysts. A total of 105 of the commercial hybrid (86.06%), but only 44 of the Nero Siciliano (36.66%) pigs, were identified as positive for B. coli infection. The results obtained, may be linked to the type of farming employed.

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F. Giarratana, D. Muscolino, G. Taviano and G. Ziino, "Balantidium coli in Pigs Regularly Slaughtered at Abattoirs of the Province of Messina: Hygienic Observations," Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2012, pp. 77-80. doi: 10.4236/ojvm.2012.22013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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