Trichinellosis in 3 French travelers after eating bear meat in Greenland

Jean Dupouy-Camet reports to ProMED-mail that on 11 Mar 2016, a 55-year-old patient presented to the Parasitology Clinical Service of Cochin Hospital in Paris complaining of high fever and muscular pain that he had been suffering from since 4 Mar 2016.

Green-MeatHe was part of a group of 3 French people having recently travelled in East Greenland. Between, 13 and 16 Feb 2016, they each had consumed around 200 g of polar bear (_Ursus maritimus_) meat. The polar bear meat had been cut into 1 cm thick slices and then fried for several minutes, but was still pink when eaten.

One of the consumers, aged 56, was totally asymptomatic besides one day of pronounced diarrhea at the beginning of March. On 9 Mar 2016 the last consumer, aged 59, developed fever, myalgia and a slight facial edema and one day of diarrhea. Blood tests were performed on all the patients and showed both elevated muscle enzyme and eosinophile levels.

Antibody testing for _Trichinella_ was positive by ELISA and western blot for the 3 patients (LDBio Diagnostics, France) and they were prescribed albendazole for 10-days. The polar bear, weighing around 400 kg, was shot by a local accredited Inuit hunter in the Scorebysund region on the East coast of Greenland.

Only the 3 French travellers ate under-cooked meat, whereas local people ate the meat boiled and have been informed that the polar bear was infected with _Trichinella_. None of the meat was imported to France.