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Development of harmonised schemes for the monitoring and reporting of Sarcocystis in animals and foodstuffs in the European Union

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The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. In accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, this task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a grant agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the European Food Safety Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by EFSA. EFSA reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.

Abstract

The current disease situation and national monitoring of Sarcocystis in the European Union Member States is reviewed to identify the relevance of the parasite for public health considering specific needs in the European countries. Two species, S. suihominis and S. bovihominis, are recognised to have zoonotic significance and to be relevant to the Member States. . Due to a lack of data from the Member States, the impact on human health is unclear as well the situation in animal populations. It can be assumed that the zoonotic Sarcocystis species are circulating in most European food animal populations, though seemingly without major impact on public health. Limitations are also related to the commonly used detection method, visual inspection at the slaughterhouse, which does not allow differentiation between the two zoonotic species from the non-zoonotic ones. Consequently a harmonised scheme for monitoring Sarcocystis cannot be justified by a public health perspective without further evidence of impact on public health.

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