Validation parameters of the magnetic stirrer method for pooled sample digestion for Trichinella spp. in horse meat based on proficiency tests results
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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Meat of horses may be infested with nematodes of the genus Trichinella spp. and can cause serious disease in humans. Rules for the carcasses sampling of species susceptible to Trichinella spp. infection and examination are laid down in Commission Regulation 1375/2015, where the magnetic stirrer method for pooled-sample digestion is recommended (Commission Regulation 1478/2020). All personnel involved in the examination should be properly trained and participate in quality control programs. Proficiency tests (PTs) play a key role in the quality verification process. This paper presents the results of PTs organized for 68 Polish laboratories in 2014–2019. Results were assessed qualitatively at three levels of sample contamination (0, 3, 5 larvae) and quantitatively at one level (5 larvae). The laboratories have achieved the average correct qualitative results 100%, 96.2% and 96.8% for the samples contaminated with 0, 3 and 5 larvae, respectively. In the quantitative evaluation, an average 94.1% of the reported results were correct. The data from PTs enabled us to define, for the first time, validation parameters of the digestion method for the horse meat matrix in a large-scale experiment including: specificity (100%), sensitivity (95.6%), accuracy (97.1%), the limit of detection (LOD) (1.14 ≈ 1) and the limit of quantification (LOQ) (3.42 ≈ 3).
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