DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Trichinosis (trik-ih-NO-sis), sometimes called trichinellosis (trik-ih-nuh-LOW-sis), is a type of roundworm infection. Roundworm parasites use a host body to live and reproduce. Occurring primarily among meat-eating animals (carnivores) — especially bears, foxes and walruses — the infection is acquired by eating roundworm larvae in raw or undercooked meat.
When humans eat undercooked meat containing trichinella larvae, the larvae mature into adult worms in the intestine over several weeks. The adult worms then produce larvae that travel through various tissues, including muscle. Trichinosis is most widespread in rural areas throughout the world.
Trichinosis can be treated with medication, though it's not always necessary. It's also easy to prevent.
April 02, 2015
- Trichinosis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/trichinosis/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Trichinellosis FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
- Weller PF, et al. Trichinellosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 25, 2015.