Anti-Trichinella IgG in ethnic minorities living in Trichinella-endemic areas in northwest Vietnam: study of the predictive value of selected clinical signs and symptoms for the diagnosis of trichinellosis

Nga Vu Thi, Edoardo Pozio, Nguyen Van De, Nicolas Praet, Patrizio Pezzotti, Sarah Gabriël, Marleen Claes, Nguyen Thi Thuy, Pierre Dorny

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The objective of this study was to assess the presence of anti-Trichinella IgG in the serum of persons from ethnic minorities from northwest Vietnam with clinical signs and symptoms that are compatible with trichinellosis. A total of 645 persons were enrolled, of which 200 people lived in two villages where outbreaks of human trichinellosis had been documented in 2004 and 2008, and 445 people who were hospitalized in the Dien Bien and Son La provincial hospitals without a definitive diagnosis. Presence of anti-Trichinella IgG was demonstrated in serum samples by a standardized Enzyme-linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA); positive serum samples were subjected to Western blot (WB) for confirmation. Seven (3.5%; 95% CI: 1.4-7.1) persons from the villages and seven (1.6%; 95% CI: 0.6-3.2) hospitalized patients, tested positive by both ELISA and WB. Fever (N=13), eosinophilia (N=12), myalgia (N=9), facial edema (N=9) and leukocytosis (N=8) were the most common clinical signs and symptoms in the serologically positive persons. The concomitant occurrence of facial edema and myalgia among the enrolled persons from the villages, accounted for 75% of the positive predictive value (PPV) and 99.5% of the negative predictive value (NPV), suggesting that they could be used for suspecting trichinellosis when serology is not available. The high prevalence (1.6-3.5%) of anti-Trichinella IgG in persons from Vietnamese provinces where Trichinella spiralis is circulating in pigs strongly supports the need to develop control programs to eliminate the infection from pigs and for consumers' education and protection.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Tropica
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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