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Safer indigenous pork and healthier ethnic minorities in Vietnam by better management of parasitic food borne diseases


This third-party funded project is conducted in the framework of the BfR research programme on on human, animal and environmental health (One Health)

BMZ support programme: Small Grants

BMZ grant number: Contract number: 81219445; Project processing number: 16.7860.6-001.00

Project homepage: -

Project description

Recently, FAO/WHO listed the 'Top Ten' food-borne parasites of global concern in humans, with cysticercosis (Taenia solium) being ranked highest (1st) and trichinellosis (Trichinella spiralis) ranked 7th. Human cysticercosis is an under-recognized disease with a variety of clinical signs including epilepsy; trichinellosis causes diarrhoea followed by muscle pain and fever in humans. Both, if detected, can result in pork being condemned and lost from the food chain.

Pig production is an important livelihood activity for ethnic minorities in Vietnam. Both indigenous breeds and wild pigs have traditionally been kept under extensive management systems facing various challenges (e.g. government policies favouring exotic pigs).

The goal of the project is to assess and reduce both parasitic foodborne diseases (PFBD) in ethnic minorities of selected areas of Vietnam. Specific objectives include:

  • To gather information on the presence of cysticercosis and/or trichinellosis in indigenous pigs and ethnic commune members based on serology and records (e.g. hospitals)
  • To determine the perception and awareness of indigenous pig farmers and other value chain actors on both PFBD
  • To address capacity gaps (e.g. meat inspection) and diagnostic difficulties (e.g. specificity of available commercial test) using improved diagnostic or rapid tests
  • To develop and test promising intervention to reduce both PFBD and promote a brand “Healthy livestock and people”.

The intervention incudes technologies such as a recently developed vaccine and a rapid test, both for cysticercoses in pigs. Beside this a commune based approach to reduce both PFBD using a One Health framework will be tested. The purpose of the project is to provide targeted producers and consumers in study sites with better knowledge on zoonoses and use interventions to reduce them.

BfR part of the project

  • Study visit of NIVR researcher at German partner institute
  • Training workshop at NIVR to implement and improve quality management and laboratory techniques, including screening and confirmatory tests for the detection of Trichinella from meat samples and serological tests for antibody detection.
  • Support NIVR in the confirmatory testing of Trichinella positive screening results.

Project partners

  • The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • National Institute for Veterinary Research, NIVR, Vietnam
  • Hanoi University of Public Health, HUPH, Vietnam
  • FU Berlin


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