- Peter F Weller, MD, MACP
Peter F Weller, MD, MACP
- Editor-in-Chief — Infectious Diseases
- Section Editor — Tropical Medicine
- William Bosworth Castle Professor of Medicine
- Harvard Medical School
- Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
- Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
- Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
- Section Editor — Travel Medicine
- Head of Infectious Diseases Unit
- Monash University, Australia
Trichinellosis (trichinosis) is a parasitic infection caused by nematodes (roundworms) of the genus Trichinella. Pigs are the most important source of human infection, although a number of other animals are also epidemiologically important hosts. Consumption of raw or undercooked meat is the principal mode of transmission.
Trichinellosis occurs worldwide (figure 1). The prevalence of Trichinella infection is unknown, and there is significant underreporting of cases. A thorough literature review from 1986 to 2009 revealed 65,818 cases of trichinellosis and 42 deaths reported from 41 countries . Most cases were reported in Europe, especially Romania, the former Soviet Union and other parts of Central Europe [2,3]. Other countries with high prevalences of human infection are China, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina, and Bolivia.
There are 9 species and at least 12 genotypes of Trichinella; these are divided into those that encapsulate in host muscle tissue of mammals only and those that do not encapsulate and infect mammals, birds (one species), or reptiles (two species). All recognized species and genotypes can infect humans, but there are seven species of Trichinella that have been implicated in human disease [4,5]:
●T. spiralis is found worldwide in a great variety of carnivorous and omnivorous animals.
●T. nativa is found in arctic regions and infects bears, foxes, and walruses.To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- Life cycle
- CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS
- Clinical course
- - Laboratory findings
- Serious infection
- - Cardiac disease
- - Neurologic manifestations
- - Pulmonary disease
- - Renal disease
- Serologic tests
- Muscle biopsy
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
- General approach
- Children and pregnant women
- Postexposure prophylaxis
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS