Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Quantification and viability assays of Toxoplasma gondii in commercial "Serrano" ham

 2015 Apr;46:107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2014.07.003. Epub 2014 Jul 15.


"Serrano" ham is a typical pork product from the Mediterranean area, highly valued for its flavour. To make Serrano ham, pork undergoes a salting and a subsequent fermentation process known as curing. Certain pigs used for meat production are an important source of Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans. We have developed a method for quantifying and assaying the viability of the T. gondii present in commercial Serrano ham samples. A magnetic capture method for the isolation of T. gondii DNA and a qRT-PCR were used to estimate the T. gondii burden in 475 commercial samples of "Serrano" ham in two presentation formats: ham pieces and sliced ham. The infectivity capacity of T. gondii in positive samples was assayed in mice. The global prevalence of T. gondii was 8.84%, ranging from 32.35% in one of the companies to 0% prevalence in three other companies. The infectivity assays revealed that only 4.84% of the positive samples were infective. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report focussing on the prevalence of T. gondii in commercial "Serrano" ham. The method described here could be useful for producers to guarantee the safety of their products. 
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bioassay; Commercial cured “Serrano Ham”; DNA magnetic capture; Infectivity; Quantitative real-time PCR; Toxoplasma gondii
[PubMed - in process]

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