We report here a single case acquired in Algeria (Batna region), by a Muslim worker. Shortly after returning to France, in November 2004, the patient developed the typical clinical and biological signs of the disease. At first, he claimed to have eaten only mutton -- a most unusual host for Trichinella but the subsequent inquiry revealed that he had eaten barbecued leg of jackal (Canis aureus), which he captured while wandering in the countryside.

The muscular biopsy of the patient was positive, and 2 physicians in the south of France efficiently treated him with albendazole. Trichinellosis is rather infrequent in Muslim countries such as Algeria, as pork is forbidden, but the parasite circulates in wildlife (wild boars and jackals).

In France, we were able to identify at least 5 outbreaks involving around 40 cases (all of them being expatriates) since 1945 after the consumption of wild boar meat. This recent Algerian case is the first due to jackal meat consumption in North Africa, but similar cases could be misdiagnosed, as Islamic law seems to tolerate the consumption of such small carnivores. Pork is the common worldwide source of human trichinellosis, but the odd habits of some consumers sometimes put them at risk as well.

Pr Jean Dupouy-Camet, MD, PhD
Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie
Centre National de Reference des Trichinella
(French Reference Center for Trichinellosis )
Hopital Cochin / Universite R. Descartes
27 Fbrg St Jacques, 75014, Paris, France

ProMED Summary of Trichinellosis Outbreaks (2001-2005)