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Trichinellosis

INTRODUCTION

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.

EPIDEMIOLOGY

Trichinellosis has been reported worldwide. The prevalence of human infection is highest in China, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, the former Soviet Union, Romania, and other parts of Central Europe [1].

There are 8 species and 11 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 [2,3]:

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.

                  

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Literature review current through: Mar 2014. | This topic last updated: Dec 10, 2012.
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