People get trichinosis when they eat undercooked meat — such as pork, bear, walrus or horse — that is infected with the immature form (larvae) of the trichinella roundworm. In nature, animals are infected when they feed on other infected animals. Pigs and horses can become infected with trichinosis when they feed on garbage containing infected meat scraps. Other cases have been linked to eating beef that was mixed with infected pork or ground in a grinder previously used for contaminated pork.
Due to increased regulation of pork feed and products in the United States, pigs have become a less common source of infection. Wild animals, including bear, continue to be sources of infection.
May. 24, 2012
- Parasitic roundworm diseases: Trichinosis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/trichinosis/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Trichinellosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Weller PF, et al. Trichinellosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 17, 2012.
- Gottstein B, et al. Epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and control of trichinellosis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2009;22:127.
- Meat preparation: Fresh pork from farm to table. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Pork_From_Farm_to_Table/index.asp. Accessed May 3, 2012.
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